FOREIGN Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has declared that US drone attacks on Balochistan would not be tolerated. This is a welcome development especially since the Baloch leadership has also informed the President about their rejection of any such attacks. In fact, the Balochistan package's success itself may hinge upon this issue. It is time for the government to seriously reconsider its whole cooperation with the US based on no quid pro quos, simply because the costs of this cooperation are becoming far weightier than the benefits. President Zardari has also reiterated the Pakistani position that it is seeking trade not aid - which means market access for Pakistan, especially for its textile sector. This has been one of the few demands Pakistan made early on in its alliance with the US post-9/11. And the previous US Administration had made a commitment to give Pakistani textiles that market access but Congress put a spanner in the works because of domestic lobbies. Unfortunately, the Musharraf government did not pursue this in a determined fashion. The present government has also been hesitant to push for this critically required access. Hopefully, the government may now see the light and pursue this demand more effectively - especially by linking it to future cooperation in the security issue area. Also there needs to be more transparency about exactly how much access the previous government gave to the Americans and what has been extended to them under the present regime. The growing and disturbing presence of US covert operatives and private security concerns is raising questions within Pakistani civil society as to what all has been conceded to the Americans, especially since these personnel have been breaking Pakistani laws at will and arrogantly refused to be answerable to Pakistani authorities. Now news has come out that US special forces conducted secret raids in FATA totally without the knowledge of Pakistani authorities - civil and military. This also does not speak well of our human intelligence along the sensitive border areas with Afghanistan. But it does reflect the lack of trust that exists between the Pakistanis and their US "allies". Given the lack of credibility the government has because of its past double talk on drones, Blackwater and other American-related issues, this time round the government's statements on the unacceptability of drone attacks in Balochistan and seeking a halt to clandestine action by US special forces and covert mercenary operatives has to be backed by a determination to take action if the US violates the wishes of the Pakistani state. It is high time Pakistan reclaimed its lost sovereignty from the US - which is the only way it can alter the hostile operational environment in which it is conducting its own anti-terrorism policies.