THE statement by Chief of the US Air Force that the drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas are proving effective evokes concern. For one thing, these attacks are a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty. Besides, they have been generating a severe backlash among the local population. Not only that but the biggest criticism of these attacks is that they cause a great deal of collateral damage. So far, these strikes have killed 700 civilians. It would be hard for one to rule out the reality that the Americans by turning the tribal areas into killing fields have simply deteriorated the situation making it extremely hard for the government to carry out counter-insurgency operations. Apart from the anti-US sentiment, resentment against the federal government has also been rising steadily. Militant networks exploit the situation by finding recruits among tribesmen. Invariably, the poverty and shockingly low levels of development, which are the elements that actually fuel unrest would have to be eliminated. It is an equation in which hearts and minds would have to be won. Drone attacks are no cure to the problem.