HOLDING out a firm assurance to the American leadership that Washington's consuming concern about the rising tide of militancy that, it believes, gets its sustenance from the tribal region was equally Islamabad's worry because of its obvious fall-out on the country's stability defined the main purpose of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's visit to the US. And for that, greater cooperation between the two, intelligence sharing and grant of funds to Pakistan for upgrading its anti-terrorist operations, was called for. Besides, the government being just about four months old was in the process of devising an appropriate strategy to deal with the menace and needed time before the results could show themselves. And a host of hard realities of the tribal area " the temperament of the people who were used to live with the least governmental control, their ethnic association with the Taliban (Pushtuns) across the border that created strong anti-US sentiments and the tricky mountainous terrain that made armed action quite difficult " made it all the more necessary for the US administration to show patience. In the opinion of Ambassador Hussain Haqqani, Washington should wait for a year before passing judgement about Islamabad's intentions to tackle the problem of militancy and extremism. For Pakistan, there was another worry; the sharp and precipitous rise in food and fuel prices and an acute shortage of power were rendering the lives of the people so burdensome that there were growing apprehensions of social turmoil that could pose a serious threat to the country's political stability. The newly formed government that had to face this unexpected, formidable challenge also hoped that the Bush administration would help bail it out of the crisis. The occasion provided Mr Gilani an opportunity to put across Pakistan's position when he met President Bush and other American leaders, including those likely to assume power next January. The joint statement issued after Bush-Gilani talks committed US support for "sovereignty" and joint efforts to eliminate terrorism. But about the same time Pentagon's planes fired missiles at Zyara Litta in South Waziristan, reflecting the US impatience with, what it thinks, Pakistan's lack of wholehearted cooperation and misgivings, now being openly aired, that sharing information with its intelligence agency could compromise the secrecy of the mission. There were promises of increased aid to Pakistan in economic, energy and social sectors. Under food security, it will receive $115.5 million, $45.5 million within nine months. Media reports contrasted with Islamabad's assessment that the mission was a complete success and underscored continued distrust and impatience of the US and its readiness to go it alone, in case it found the suspect it was looking for. The US strategy for Pakistan will start unfolding itself in the coming weeks and indications are that it would be bereft of diplomatic niceties.