PRESIDENT Zardari has said Pakistan requires aid rather than lectures to curb terrorism. What he needs in fact is to tell the new administration in Washington is that bombing Pakistan's tribal areas, or repeating the Bush era's mantra of "do more", has in fact exacerbated extremism and militancy in the area. What many expect from Mr Obama is to pay heed to the basic causes of the resentment which continues to mount against the US in the Muslim world. He has to realise that unless these grievances are removed, no amount of bombing and killing is likely to bring an end to terrorism. While it might take time to address the longstanding issues, what is needed urgently is to try to heal the wounds inflicted by the former administration's policies instead of continuing them. Despite brave words from President Obama, both long-term and short-term policies of his predecessor are still being pursued. While Mr Obama's special envoy for the Middle East, George Mitchell, was on a tour of the region, Israeli bombers attacked Gaza in violation of a mutually agreed ceasefire without drawing any strong reaction from the new Administration. This would indicate to many that the US continues to condone the excesses committed by the Zionists. Not long ago, then Senator Obama had linked the Kashmir issue with Afghanistan, creating hopes that the new Administration would evolve a new American approach to Kashmir. Statements by former President Jimmy Carter and veteran Democrat leader Lee Hamilton on the need to resolve the core issue had strengthened the hopes. The appointment of Mr Richard Holbrooke as special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan had further added to the expectations leading President Zardari to hope that the envoy would work with India and Pakistan to evolve a just and reasonable resolution of the Kashmir issue. All this turned out to be moonshine when White House spokesman Robert Wood made it clear on Wednesday that the envoy had no mandate to deal with Kashmir. Military operations in the tribal areas have created a humanitarian crisis in the region. Tens of thousands of people have been rendered homeless and are forced to live like refugees in their own country. There is a dire need now to shift in an orderly way from the use of force to political dialogue with all those groups who are willing to accept the writ of the state. Billions of dollars have to be injected to rehabilitate the displaced, compensate for civilian casualties and undertake the huge task of rebuilding houses, schools, dispensaries, bridges and roads destroyed during the operation. The US, whose policies radicalised the tribal areas, including a traditionally peaceful Swat, into a militant stronghold, bears the primary responsibility to help heal the wounds. Unless the exercise is urgently undertaken, the battle for winning the hearts and minds will be lost.