PRESIDENT Barack Obama's National Security Advisor Gen James Jones is in Islamabad to discuss the implications for Pakistan of President Obama's new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy. Spelled out in March this year, the policy is aimed at disrupting, dismantling and eventually defeating Al-Qaeda in the region. For this, both political and military means are to be employed. Attempts are to be made to win over moderate elements from among the Taliban to isolate Al-Qaeda. Seventeen thousand troops out of the 21,000 promised to boost the surge have already arrived in Helmand Province bordering Balochistan, while the remaining force is being dispatched to train the Afghan army. Hundreds of civilian personnel are also to be sent to improve the Afghan government's inefficient delivery of basic services. The new strategy also calls for the US to reach out to Afghanistan's neighbours, including Iran, step up military and economic aid to Pakistan, and ask NATO to send more troops to ensure security during the upcoming Presidential election in Afghanistan, scheduled for August. Along with a new strategy, Gen McChrystal, whose record vis--vis human rights is less than shining, has been appointed the new chief of the US forces in Afghanistan. There is a need on the part of Islamabad to convey its reservations about aspects of the strategy that have serious implications for Pakistan. While the insurgency in Afghanistan was already on the rise, leading to the highest ever casualty rate this year among foreign troops, the arrival of the Marines has added fuel to the fire. As they take the fight to the Taliban strongholds there is a likelihood of a spillover of militants inside Pakistan's tribal areas, adding further to Islamabad's woes. There is a perception that this could act as a destabilising factor. What is equally worrisome is the possible impact of the surge on Balochistan, which already faces a serious law and order situation. While President Obama has ruled out the deployment of US troops inside Pakistan's tribal areas, drone attacks continue to be conducted despite widespread condemnation. Hopefully the matter would be taken with General Jones. On Tuesday, 51 persons were killed in a series of such attacks in South Waziristan. They were uncalled for because Pakistan military is already poised to launch a full-fledged military operation against Baitullah Mehsud, who has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly suicide attacks inside Pakistan. Rival militant commander, Qari Zainuddin, who had challenged Baitullah's authority, was also supposedly shot on his orders. It is hoped that General Jones, who would be visiting New Delhi, is told in plain terms that any genuine normalisation with India is contingent on the resolution of the Kashmir issue.