PRIME Minister Yousaf Reza Gilani is right. Tackling the scourge of terrorism demands patience and a cooperative approach. Unilateral moves by actors, in this case the US and its NATO allies, not fully cognisant of the tribal people's sensitivities, can only prove counterproductive. Mr Gilani told CNN that the terrain where action was required was difficult, but cited, in demonstration of Pakistan's seriousness in fighting the menace, that it had set up 1,000 checkposts to monitor crossborder infiltration. He alluded to NATO's half-hearted effort, in contrast, when he pointed out that it had barely 100 checkposts for this purpose. He also maintained that he had put President Bush in the picture about his views when they met at the White House a day earlier, underlined the need to have closer cooperation and to avoid unilateral actions. Mr Gilani has also sought Washington's increased help in boosting Islamabad's counter-insurgency capabilities. The pity is that despite paying lip service to respecting Pakistan's sovereignty, the US continues to choose and hit suspected sanctuaries of militants on Pakistani soil without taking it into confidence, complicating the position of the ally without whose active help it cannot win the War On Terror, as has been admitted by Assistant Secretary of State Boucher, and whom it expects to intensify the struggle. The death of innocent civilians that missile attacks cause produces a backlash, which washes out the gains of negotiation and persuasion. In that scenario, the US needs to appreciate Mr Gilani's stress on patience and greater exchange of intelligence rather than urge military action, which Mr Boucher's statement implies Pakistan is not willing to take. Surely, it does not want to target innocent people, unlike the US, but has assured it time and again that uncompromising militants who defy the writ of the state would not be spared. Washington must reorient its own policy instead of making its key ally's task trickier.