TURNED into a US ally in the war on terror by Gen (retd) Musharraf, Pakistan is being pushed further into the quagmire. Operation Lionheart has now been launched on both sides of the Durand Line by the US army and Pakistani forces, the former working along the Kunnar River and the latter conducting operations in the adjoining Bajaur Agency. According to a spokesman of US Army in Afghanistan the operation has taken the cooperation between US, Afghan and Pakistani forces to 'the next level' in terms of intelligence sharing and coordination. The operation is another version of the hammer-and-anvil approach introduced by former US commander in Afghanistan Lt Gen Barno in early 2004, requiring Pakistani troops to drive the al-Qaeda fighters from the tribal area to be subsequently crushed by the US Army operating on the other side of the border. The much-trumpeted policy not only failed to crush the militants but has during the intervening four years spread their influence, earlier confined to the two Waziristan Agencies, to the other tribal areas also. The policy of reliance on shock-and-awe methods turned an otherwise peaceful Bajaur Agency into a hotbed of the militants. There is no light at the end of the tunnel after more than three months of operations in Bajaur and Swat. The claim by US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen that the Bajaur operation has had significant impact on curbing crossborder militancy in the area, is refuted by reports of the neighbouring Mohmand Agency having been infected by insurgency which would add to the problems being faced by the US army in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Nato has claimed that it conducted an artillery attack inside South Waziristan on Sunday after coordinating with Islamabad. This has, however, been denied by the ISPR which insists that the two sides have no agreement on joint operations. Coordination or no coordination, Pakistan is being pushed into the quagmire against the wishes of its people. With President-elect Obama bent on pursuing the aggressive American policy more vigorously, there would be increasing pressure on Islamabad to do more. Pakistan has to end the ongoing military operations at the earliest and seek a solution of the issue of militancy mainly through peaceful means as required by the resolution passed unanimously by Parliament. Islamabad has to persuade Washington that recourse to helicopter gunships, tanks and heavy artillery leads to the killing of more innocent people than terrorists who operate from the shadows. COAS General Kiyani, who discussed the issue of drone attacks with the NATO Secretary General in Brussels on Tuesday, rightly observed that only Pakistani forces had the right to take any action against terrorists in our territory.