IT seems that Islamabad has finally agreed to allow US advisors to train the Pakistan Army in counter-insurgency measures, after resisting the offer for quite some time. One possible explanation could be that the decision was reached as a trade-off during the visit by the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm Michael Mullen to Islamabad, after he had assured the authorities that the Pentagon would not violate its sovereignty. The clue to this understanding comes from an interview he gave later in which he said that the selection of the training site was the real hitch in starting the programme. He believed, "I do see it (the training) happening." Referring to Pakistan's stand on foreign incursions, the Admiral maintained, "clearly we have no desire to get into any engagement with the Pakistan military." Ideally, there should not have been any need for such a trade-off and the presence of US military personnel, even in the guise of advisors, avoided. The sanctity of territorial sovereignty is a fundamental right of every state recognised in international law. One hopes that Islamabad would make sure that the advisors concern themselves strictly with the training work and refrain from indulging in any activity harmful to our interests. In the meantime, Britain has come out openly against US strikes inside Pakistan, and this might also be an indication of Washington's rethinking on the issue. It is a heartening sign that the President, the Prime Minister and the COAS are on the same wavelength about violations of sovereignty. At a meeting on Friday, they reaffirmed the stand that they would not make any compromise on this issue. There can be no doubt in their conclusion that the US military action within Pakistan would further add to its problems in tackling militancy in the tribal region. The US must realise that, since the purpose of the two countries is to eliminate the scourge of extremism and terrorism, creating difficulties for an ally whose role is crucial might even frustrate the desired outcome.