THE conflicting stands on shooting down the US drones taken by the Chief of Air Staff and Defence Minister do not strengthen confidence in the functioning of the government. The former says PAF is fully capable of stopping missile attacks by the drones provided the government gives clearance for the action. On the other hand, Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar believes that the country does not possess the technology required to down them and has approached friendly countries to acquire it. Earlier also, he had expressed the view that Pakistan could do little to ward off attacks from planes flying at very high altitudes. The difference of opinion over an issue that is a subject of intense debate in the country is unfortunate. The drone attacks have become more frequent and deadlier after the takeover of the PPP-led government. While they might have resulted in the killing of a few terrorists, hundreds of innocent people have died. This has caused countrywide resentment. The message that such attacks convey in the tribal belt is that the Pakistan government is unable to provide security to its citizens against foreign raids. This can generate widespread alienation among the tribes. What is more, revenge being their centuries-old tradition, every attack provides the militants fresh volunteers. This complicates the task of those trying to enlist the support of common tribesmen against the terrorists. Both President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani have raised the issue with the Bush administration but have failed to convince it that the attacks could harm mutual relations. The issue has been hotly debated at the in-camera session of Parliament, culminating in the passage of a resolution on how to deal with security threats. A committee of the Parliament has been set up to get the resolution implemented. The government can no longer delay doing whatever it takes to end the attacks. Voices are already being raised accusing it of connivance with Washington. It should take the matter to the meeting of the parliamentary committee where after briefings from ministries of Defence, Interior and Foreign Affairs and inputs from the ISI a final decision should be taken on how to end these attacks.