WHILE scarcely a day passes without a terrorist attack somewhere in Pakistan leaving many innocent people dead and injured, US media and state functionaries continue to accuse ISI operatives of working hand in glove with some of the terrorist groups. On Thursday The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal made serious charges of the type. According to the Times, the ISI has ties with militant groups which are currently fighting the international force including US troops in Afghanistan and offers them direct support in the form of money, military supplies and strategic planning. According to the paper, a parade of senior US diplomats, military officers and intelligence officials who travelled over the last year to Islamabad tried to persuade without success that the ISI cut off support for terrorist groups. Important persons connected with the Obama Administration, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm Mike Mullen included, have levelled similar charges. Early this week Admiral Mullen told a TV channel "They (the ISI) have been very attached to many of these extremist organizations, and it's my belief that in the long run, they have got to completely cut ties with those in order to really move in the right direction," Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, Lt Gen Karl Eikenberry, the Obama Administration's proposed ambassador to Kabul maintained, "The Pakistan army, ISI, have had a very unclear, a very ambiguous relationship with the Taliban over the last 15 years." Whatever has been done so far by those who matter in Islamabad has failed to remove the perception. This has caused a trust deficit between the two countries with the result that instead of sharing information with the Pakistani agencies, the CIA employs remote-controlled drones to attack positions inside Pakistan. Despite several protests from Islamabad and condemnation by Parliament and media in Pakistan, the attacks continue unabated, as the two incidents in South and North Wazirstan on Wednesday and Thursday indicate. What Richard Holbrooke said early this week regarding Taliban sanctuaries in Balochistan including Quetta, indicates that drone attacks, confined so far to the FATA, might now be extended to Balochistan also. Any attack on targets in thickly populated Quetta or crowded refugee camps outside the city is bound to lead to civilian casualties on a large scale. The prevailing lack of trust can harm the interests of both the US and Pakistan. There is a need to remove the perception about the ISI's alleged ties with militant groups. Similarly, Washington needs to allay Islamabad's concern that once American forces withdraw, the power vacuum would be filled by India, a perception which forces it to look for proxy forces in Afghanistan.