IT is quite obvious that the terrorists, who ransacked Mumbai and took the lives of over 170 persons last month, had at least one objective in view. They wanted Pakistan to divert its attention to the eastern front to give the terrorist elements active on the Pak-Afghan border a freer hand. But that would hardly have been the development the US, planning to shift the anti-terrorism focus from Iraq to Afghanistan, had relished. It is precisely for that reason that, following hawkish statements from Indian political circles, Washington's diplomatic machinery turned into full gear to pressure India to stay its hand from undertaking any military venture against suspected militant hideouts, and not for any love of Pakistan. At the same time, in order not to annoy New Delhi, it kept goading Islamabad to cooperate in the investigation and the UNSC to pass a resolution banning certain organisations based in Pakistan. In this backdrop, one should not expect that the incoming Obama administration would show any let-up in the drone attacks, even though the President-elect's special envoy Senator John Kerry, Chairman-designate of the influential Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate, agrees with Pakistan that they are counterproductive. If anything, and despite the adverse feelings across Pakistan, raids by unmanned US aircraft are likely to intensify in the short term in an attempt by the new set-up to produce quick results. President Zardari's hint at his meeting with FATA elders about the inevitability of these attacks should be seen in that context. President-elect Obama, who has talked about Kashmir more than once, should use his influence to settle the core issue that keeps creating situations like the Mumbai incident. The truth behind the carnage is not established beyond any doubt since the Indians continue to refuse to share the evidence with Pakistan. Although the death of Maharashtra police chief Hemant Karkare had earlier raised eyebrows, the Indian Minority Affairs Minister's remark that he was a "victim of terrorism plus something" has caused an uproar in India. If New Delhi were really serious about getting at the root of these attacks, it would do well to investigate them, keeping in view Karkare's understanding that certain Hindu radical elements were behind the Malegaon bombings. His removal from the scene only tended to benefit them. Nevertheless, the tension between the two countries has not yet abated. To reduce it, the Indian leadership should listen to Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's remark that the blame game would undermine the peace process. Without resolution of the issues keeping the two nations at odds with each other, ugly situations could hardly be prevented.