According to a news item published in this newspaper on January 30, Mr. Zardari has expressed a hope that the new US administration will recast the Pak-US ties. May I say that this hope is totally absurd as missile attacks launched from remotely piloted American drones continue to kill dozens of people in the western parts of our country. The continued strikes suggested the usage of drones against militants within the Pakistani borders would continue under President Obama. The US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has declared Afghanistan to be the 'greatest test' of the new administration and also its 'top military priority'. In these circumstances, how can one expect a change in American policy towards Pakistan? As far as Kashmir is concerned, I don't believe there will be any positive development in resolution of even this core issue. Clearly, Kashmir is not on the agenda of President Obama now that the election campaign is over. However, as part of economic empowerment efforts for Pakistan, there could be possibility of a swift, but meager package of economic assistance initiative in the Congress. -MADEEHA RAFI, Kharian, via e-mail, January 31.