PRESIDENT Obama foresees the rise of Al-Qaeda and Taliban as the greatest threat to American security. Islamabad is therefore being offered increase in non-military aid in return for guarding its Northern marches, an illusive target it has been pursuing since 9/11. There is a need on the part of President Obama to realise the damage done by the anti-terror policies of his predecessor. The crux of the failure of these policies lay in an inability to comprehend the complexity of the phenomenon and the intermingling of a number of separate issues. The Bush administration therefore pursued quick fixes centred round the use of maximum force. As the British Foreign Secretary has recently pointed out militant groups in the region comprising Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have taken recourse to arms in pursuit of their own agendas. It was a major fault under the circumstances to bracket then together under Al Qaeda or Taliban and administer to them one-size-suits-all treatment. What is needed is to address some of the unresolved regional issues unconnected with the global agenda of Al Qaeda. India's forcible occupation of the Kashmir Valley and subsequent repression spread over nearly six decades forced Kashmiris who have strong religious and ethnic ties in Pakistan and were formerly known for their peace loving nature to take up arms. The resolution of the issue in line with the Kashmiris' aspirations would help dealing with militancy in Pakistan's tribal areas also. Peace on the Pak-Afghan border also hinges on the end to the ongoing military operations by US and ISAF troops. The longer the foreign troops stay in Afghanistan or continue to launch attacks inside Pakistan's tribal areas, the larger the scale of civilian casualties and severer the resistance. It goes to the credit of President Obama to announce the return of troops from Iraq in a year and half. He has taken note of the fact that use of arms by a superpower cannot end popular resistance. While planning for a return of the foreign troops, he should ensure that large-scale development work is initiated in Afghanistan to compensate for the destruction caused by the US and allied forces. To win over people in Afghanistan there is also a need to have an honest and responsive administration, which the country has lacked for decades. The US has failed despite promises to support schemes like the ROZs aimed at the economic and social uplift of Pakistan's tribal areas. The tribal people have so far only seen the destructive aspect of the sole superpower. To win hearts and minds, there is a need to divert billions of dollars to development schemes. This is needed to ensure that the people of the region where there is no industry and scant agriculture are able to have education, employment and a decent living.