The Afghan militants attack on the Shaltalu checkpost in Upper Dir on Wednesday should finally shake our ruling leadership out of the belief that the occupying army across the border is a friendly force with which Pakistan had struck a deal to root out militancy. For, it is inconceivable that as massive a number as between 300 and 400 terrorists could cross over into Pakistan, carrying light and heavy weapons, without a nod, rather encouragement, from the ISAF and the Afghan government. If Washington blames Islamabad for playing a double-game by a selective targeting of terrorists fighting against those who train their guns on Pakistan and doing nothing about those who attack the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan from our territory (read North Waziristan) it should also accept the responsibility for this raid. One would even be inclined to believe that the Americans are trying to give us a message through these militants that in case we continued to resist their pressure to launch a military operation in North Waziristan, we should expect more of such deadly incursions into the country in future. Also confirming the conclusion that the Wednesday attack was deliberately engineered is President Hamid Karzais suggestion made to the US only recently that the war on terror needed to be fought on the Pakistani soil on the outlandish assumption that this is the place where actually terrorists exist and that Afghanistan has no such elements. In any case, whatever the pressure, Islamabad must hold fast to its declared position, as once again outlined by Prime Minister Gilani in an interview to Waqt TV channel on Wednesday, that it would not accept dictation from any source to move militarily into North Waziristan. The strategy for tackling any militancy in the Agency would be based on the assessment of ground realities. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar told the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that no pact had been signed on conducting an operation in the Agency. Meanwhile, Lt-General Asif Malik, corps commander supervising military operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said, We will undertake such an operation when it is in our national interest. That we had decided to launch a careful and meticulous military offensive was just media hype. The government must understand that there is one overriding ground reality in North Waziristan and that is, if we kill our own citizens we would not be able to withstand the local backlash. Besides, Lt-General (retd) Hamid Guls point that an operation in the Agency could alter the geography and history of the country deserves serious consideration. The best way would be dialogue and development. Military operation would not solve the problem, as Prime Minister Gilani told the Waqt interviewer.