HOURS before President Obama announced the new US strategy to deal with terrorism, a devastating bomb blast killed over 70 in a mosque in Landi Kotal. Few countries can thus claim to have better appreciation of the consequences of terrorism than Pakistan. However many think US policies during and after the Cold War have in fact been a vital part of the problem. Under President Reagan, the US agencies were tasked with fanning religious fanaticism across the Muslim world. Subsequently they funded, armed and trained fanatics who were provided sanctuaries in Pakistan's tribal areas from where they proceeded to humiliate the Soviet Union. Later under President George W Bush the US bombed innocent tribesmen who had been misled by propaganda choreographed by the American agencies for nearly a decade. The CIA has continued its not so covert war in FATA killing hundreds of innocent people. There are reports of extending the drone attacks now to Balochistan including Quetta. President Obama says he is determined to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda terrorists and their safe havens in Pakistan. In order to succeed, he has to avoid following in the footsteps of his predecessor who relied solely on shock and awe methods, caring little for the consequences arising out of the killing of hundreds of innocent people in the process and leading to traditional calls for revenge in the tribal areas. There is a need to follow a multi-pronged policy to isolate the extremists and win the hearts and minds of the tribesmen. One welcomes Mr Obama's nod to the international financial institutions to help Pakistan, the initiation of the Kerry-Lugar legislation to triple civilian assistance to $1.5 billion per year for five years, and the legislation to put the much delayed ROZs in place. His signal to Kabul to encourage the Afghan government to reach out to the moderate and reconcilable elements among the Taliban is also a positive development. One hopes President Obama also supports the experiment already being tried in Swat. It would be easier for Pakistan to pursue the goal of eliminating terrorism with single-mindedness if its reservations regarding the future scheme of things in the region are duly addressed. With India being invited to be a part of a new contact group on Afghanistan, suspicions are bound to be created. To address these, there is a need simultaneously to initiate attempts to remove the principal cause of tension between the nuclear armed neighbours which leads them, as President Obama has put it, "to often teeter on the edge to escalation and confrontation." The unresolved issue of Kashmir needs to be addressed. It is time President Obama initiated what he called "constructive diplomacy to lessen these tensions.