The Mumbai blasts of December 26, 2008 will reverberate for a long time and cast dark shadows on the strategic alignment in the region and beyond. Pakistan needs to deliberate on the repercussions of these terror attacks, on its relations both with India and the US. To begin with the peace process is the first casualty of the grim episode. The relations at least in the short term with Delhi and Washington would be dependent upon Pakistan's response. The crack down on Jammat-ud-Dawa is being watched critically by both and Pakistan would be expected to deal early and effectively as per the joint demand of India and the US, as expressed in the UNSC resolution. Such pressure will continue to be mounted and the calls for "do more" would now be in this context. Condoleezza Rice has dismissed the prospects of war but India did proceed ahead with a red alert to its air force and making other threatening moves. The mysterious threatening call by the Indian foreign minister reflects the Indian mindset. India's hectoring attitude and provocative demands on Pakistan, are a reflection of the Indian growing belief in its global status and destiny as the dominant regional power. Besides registering phenomenal economic growth in the last decade it has build up its military power to an unprecedented level. While the US has discouraged any talk of war and Dr Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates counselled restraint, the US has demonstrated a definitive tilt towards India by accepting the Indian version of the events, to support Indian initiatives in the Security Council to pressure Pakistan, take drastic steps against "non-state actors" allegedly involved in the attack and thus impliedly accept its culpability. US support to India is not only in the context of war against terror but also recognition of India's increasingly credible role in world affairs and emergence of the strategic convergence of their joint role in global politics. Bush during his 2005 visit to Delhi declared to help India become "a major world power in the 21st century" which later was manifested in the nuclear agreement for which both sides battled hard and succeeded in the face of the determined opposition both in Washington and Delhi. The nuclear agreement has conferred the status of a nuclear power on India and accepted it as the hegemony in the region. This agreement has been further reinforced by growing economic links and shared values of liberal democracy and a responsible nuclear power. While Obama's Administration has come to herald a change in terms of its relations with India, it is likely to follow the recommendations made by five former US secretaries of states - Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Warren Christopher, Madeline Albright and Colin Powell. In a round table discussion entitled Bi-partisan advice to the next administration, just before the November elections, the five discussed in detail the terms of engagement with India and how to proceed to expand this strategic relationship. The following seven point agenda for the Obama Administration emerged from the roundtable discussions, with comprehensive notes explaining the range and impact of each: ? Strengthen strategic ties ? Increased strategic cooperation in counter-terrorism ? Under-pinning the strategic partnership with deeper commercial ties ? Pursue a broader nuclear dialogue as a follow up of the obligations under the strategic nuclear accord ? Higher education collaboration ? Support to India's quest for permanent membership of the Security Council ? Collaborate in the neighbourhood and advance peace process between India and Pakistan. The engagement agenda also recommends that improvement of relations with India should not be a part of China-containment policy but a cooperative triangle. These recommendations cover all the aspects of bilateral relations and with the stamp of approval from the five most experienced and respected top diplomats and foreign policy experts across the bipartisan spectrum would constitute the basic framework of US policy under the Obama Administration towards India, acknowledging it as a partner in global affairs. What is the likely profile of Pakistan's relations with Washington under Obama can be easily surmised. Even if the current Mumbai incident passes without much damage to Pakistan's interests and image, its political fallout would be fairly serious. Pakistan has been portrayed in the international media as a "sanctuary for terrorists, a safe haven for Al-Qaeda," the investigation in the Mumbai tragedy and disclosures would only further exacerbate the situation and thus reinforce US concerns about Pakistan' capacity to control and overcome the homegrown extremists and terrorists. The report of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, proliferation and terrorism, titled World at Risk could not have come at a worst time. The report has been compiled by Wendy Sharman, Chairperson of the Foreign Policy transition team of the Obama Administration. The report has "singled out Pakistan for special attention as it poses a serious challenge to America's short and medium term national security interests." The commission has expressed the apprehension that "the next terrorist attack against the US is likely to originate from within FATA in Pakistan." The report observed that whole Pakistan was a US ally "there is a grave danger it could also be an unwilling source of a terrorist attack on the US - possibly using weapons of mass destruction." The report was presented to President Bush on December 3, 2008 and the White House endorsed its conclusions and recommendations. Our policy planners must reflect on the two contrasting perceptions of India and Pakistan both seemingly US allies and rethink and re-evaluate our policy on "terrorism" and revise its domestic policies to create greater harmony and unity, to face the impending challenges. The writer is a former ambassador