FOREIGN Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani left for Washington on Monday to hold talks with key civil and military figures in the Obama Administration involved in a review of its Afpak policy. The visit is taking place at a time when there is misunderstanding in the US regarding Pakistan's move to broker peace in Swat. That Islamabad's move is viewed with distrust is all the more unfortunate in view of the human and material sacrifices it has rendered in the War on Terror. One hopes Mr Qureshi and General Kayani would succeed in allaying US suspicions. Pakistan has put a lot at risk while fighting the War on Terror, which was originally not its own. The US military operation against the Taliban ruling from Kabul pushed Al-Qaeda and its Afghan supporters into Pakistan against the latter's wishes. Gen Musharraf had been tasked by Washington to provide bases to the US, arrest Al-Qaeda leaders, some of whom had taken shelter inside Pakistan, and seal the 2400-km-long hilly and porous border with Afghanistan by stationing troops, whose number subsequently rose to 100,000. Pakistan had to pay a heavy price for collaboration. Over the years more than 1,000 troops have died fighting the militants. Many times more civilians have been killed in military operations, retaliatory attacks by terrorists and by Hellfire missiles that continue to be fired from US drones. While the shady role played by General Musharraf led many in the US to accuse him of double-dealing, his policies made Pakistan a favourite target of terrorist attacks. Taking note of the futility of fighting terrorism through military might alone, which had failed to deliver in nearly eight years, Parliament directed the newly elected government to go for a multi-pronged approach that combines negotiations and economic development, with the use of force when inevitable. The accord being brokered in Swat is a new experiment, and only time would show if it really succeeds. But this had to be undertaken in view of the fact that the use of force was causing largescale human suffering and creating in the process widespread resentment, which was being used by the militants to gain public sympathy. Pakistani has to persuade the "troubled and confused" Obama aides that it is necessary to win over reconcilable militants to isolate hardcore terrorists and foreign agents. Mr Holbrooke' doubts about the commitment of the military and the ISI have to be removed and the US persuaded to call off drone strikes. Once the Swat experiment succeeds, the USA should be advised to employ it as a template in Afghanistan. Pakistan must put across its stand most forcefully, draw a line between cooperation and subservience, and take a cue from the upright stand of Kyrgyzstan, which has decided to close down the US airbase at Manas.