PROMINENT among the political issues that cropped up at Davos 2009, where leading power brokers and money-makers gathered to discuss the state of the world, were the volatile Pak-Afghan region and the Gaza crisis. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani advocated development and dialogue as vital parts of a three-pronged approach for tackling militants. His view that drone attacks on Pakistani territory were counterproductive, as they undermined the government's strategy of engaging tribes and separating them from militants, was endorsed by the foreign ministers of Turkey and France, who said military efforts alone could not succeed. Turkey's Ali Babacan called drone attacks "third-party military operations" which help terrorists without performing any good purpose. His French counterpart Bernard Kouchner ruled out sending more French troops saying "there is no unique military solution in Afghanistan." Afghan Defence Minister Rahim Wardak also stressed the importance of improving the citizen's quality of life. Meanwhile, after receiving his first defence briefing at the Pentagon, US President Obama said he would soon be taking some difficult decisions regarding Iraq and Afghanistan. As the new Administration in Washington rethinks US strategy, it is time for Pakistani leaders to persuade it to discontinue the done attacks. Inside Pakistan, there has to be a clear deadline for ending the military operation in Swat, which continues unabated without bringing any visible respite to militancy. On Wednesday, as troops "advanced " and "gunships pounded militant positions", the office of the DIG Police in Malakand was subjected to a rocket attack. The government needs to involve political parties with roots in the NWFP in a dialogue with all militant groups willing to accept the writ of the state. Large-scale rehabilitation and development work has to be simultaneously undertaken. With PM's Interior Adviser Rehman Malik prescribing a novel remedy every other day, the government gives the impression of being clueless. Last week Islamabad announced three Ds as its guidelines. Suddenly, Mr Malik has discovered a "fresh strategy" that would avowedly put Swat militants out of business within a few weeks. What this curious remedy happens to be, he is not willing to share with anyone else. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan stormed offstage in Davos after being cut off by a moderator while responding to Israeli Prime Minister Simon Peres' highly objectionable remarks about Gaza. Mr Erdogan called the attacks on Gaza barbaric and accused Israel of using excessive force. He left the stage in protest, saying he was bidding farewell to Davos forever. Mr Erdogan, who voiced the sentiments of the Muslim world, deservedly received a hero's welcome on return home. There is a need on the part of our government leaders to learn from Mr Erdogan's example.