The closed session of the Parliament concluded on the 22nd with a unanimously passed 14-point resolution. The points, from withdrawal of troops from the tribal area and closing the military operation to negotiating with the militants, covered a wide range of issues. The session was meant to strengthen the government in dealing with the US who demands more action from Pakistan and has made a habit of attacking the tribal area. About the same time, the US drones attacked Waziristan for the umpteenth time. As the parliamentarians concluded a rhetorical session in Islamabad, innocent people died in the tribal area. The US had claimed they could do this on the basis of an agreement with Musharraf. The Parliament was told that there was no such agreement. The president and the PM protested helplessly. The result of the in-camera parliamentary session was not surprising. As it drew on and on, most people expected no more than a resolution. Beyond that it would be business as usual with the government in no hurry to implement it. In these days of financial panic, runaway inflation, aggravating poverty and load shedding, the drone attacks are adding to the people's rage. According to one report, the attack yesterday was the 12th in the last 10 weeks. There is no chance in hell the Americans will desist from these attacks "in hot pursuit" on a spineless country. Whatever you might say, they paid for all the services they obtained from this country for attacking and occupying Afghanistan. But seven years later, Afghan turmoil has only aggravated under a corrupt regime. Looking for a scapegoat, they blame Pakistan for the so-called terrorist incursions. The failure of the US policy in the region is self-evident. Worn out senior military commanders in Afghanistan have admitted so from time to time. But it appears that the Republican Party under pressure from the forthcoming presidential election wishes to make a prominent capture or kill in the Pakistani tribal area before the polling day. Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar - the two guys whom they hold responsible for the 9/11 attacks - are still at large. The US believes they are hiding in the mountainous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Under the circumstances, Mr Bush will be damned if he lets a resolution of the Pakistani Parliament stop him. But luckily for us, there is recognition in Europe that the policy of using military force in Afghanistan has failed. German visitors to the region, prominent academics and parliamentarians among them, have been vocal about this: they advise a change of policy. It is believed, in fact, that some covert negotiation is already in progress. The Germans are not prepared to call the US War On Terror a "war" and concede that the policy of "shock and awe" has failed in Iraq as well as Afghanistan and siding with the US merely for solidarity, a major consideration immediately after the catastrophe of 9/11, is no more tenable. They are of course not about to hold a press conference on this but those who follow the proceedings of the German Parliament know that the criticism of the US led policy is now coming both from the opposition and the government benches. A European policy shift in this region is becoming perceptible. Fortunately again, in the new outlook, Pakistan is seen as a major stakeholder; not merely with reference to Afghanistan as before. This new approach of the Europeans, especially the Germans, is likely to soften the aggression in the US policy in this area. As stated above, a unanimous resolution passed by the Pakistani Parliament is unlikely to affect the US policy even though it might give some spine to the government, but the European shift in policy will. But that is not enough consolation. Such a shift in policy will take time while we are beset with dire consequences by the US if their agenda in the region, embraced by one man eight years ago, is not pursued. So far they have managed to bulldoze their way through and used drones to scuttle any negotiation that the government initiated with the militants in FATA. Whether the new administration in the US will allow some space for negotiations with the militants remains to be seen. For the time being, this country continues to be between the devil and the deep sea. The ham handed approach to the problem in FATA has blurred the issue by confusing the tribesmen and the militants; alienating more and more people in the tribal belt. It might be late for talks but hopefully not too late. What needs to be stressed though is that persisting with a failed policy of military backed repression is the surest way to destroy this country. The writer is a former ambassador at large