American Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson has reaffirmed the US policy of persisting with drone strikes in the tribal areas on the plea that they are necessary for securing Pakistan’s borders against attacks from non-state (terrorist) actors. These pilot-less planes, he said, were targeting the sanctuaries of these militants and till they had been eliminated the drones would continue to be of use. By killing one terrorist, the US is raising a full corps of militants sympathetic to him: friends and relatives and fellow tribesmen; for embedded in the psyche of Pashtuns is the age-old tradition that it is a matter of honour and a sacred duty to take revenge on someone who has killed their near one or in some ways betrayed them. The imperative nature of this obligation to honour could be gauged from the fact that at times it is even inherited, when the preceding generation could not, for some reasons, discharge it during its lifetime. Against the backdrop of this perspective of the life of a tribesman in the region, of late there has been no dearth of western writers and columnists, including Americans, who have been trying to bring this tradition (known as Pakhtunwali) home to the policymakers in Washington. As for Pakistan, its media and the public at large, they have for long been crying hoarse that the continued use of drones is doing them more harm than good. Had President Bush pursued his own strategy of winning “hearts and minds”, it may have meant markedly less stress on military means, including drones. He could not follow through the much-hyped ROZ (Reconstruction Opportunity Zones) project that could have opened up job opportunities for the local people and given them a tangible stake in life. Things then would certainly have been different. His successor President Obama, though appearing more understanding of the issue and committed to ending the over decade-long conflict, is, strangely, putting greater focus on drones and withdrawal of troops.It is also incomprehensible how the Pakistan government while it is overtly protesting against drones its army is resorting to shelling of some areas of North Waziristan. The local tribesmen have, as a consequence, given an ultimatum that unless their demands are met they would stage a long march to Islamabad. Their demands: compensation for the killed; immediate stopping of shelling; and pledge not to do shelling again. There is need to address their concerns before another crisis raises its head.