With terrorism raging with full force in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and America too receiving threats of terror attacks on US homeland from Taliban groups hiding in Pakistani tribal areas, President Obama has revised his strategy to wipe out Al-Qaeda and Taliban menace from Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said: "Elimination of Al-Qaeda will be in greater interest of both countries." The commander of the US forces in the region, General Petraeus, has said without mincing words: "America believes that terrorists operating along the Pak-Afghan border pose a direct threat to Pakistan's existence." He added that if needed: "America would take the fight to insurgents in both Afghanistan and Pakistan." This is the first direct threat from America of the "hot pursuit" for terrorists into Pakistan territory. There is a clear signal from the US that the Pakistan armed forces are unable or unwilling to eliminate Al-Qaeda elements from their soil. The US Commander-in-Chief Admiral Mullen recently said: "America has convincing evidence that ISI is hindering...army's operation against terrorists." Although Pakistan has vehemently denied these charges, but the US administration is not convinced and Pakistan's denial cannot change its views about ISI's shady role based on the information provided by CIA. The recent spate of suicidal attacks in Islamabad, Lahore and even at Chakwal, resulting in a considerable loss of lives, for which the famous Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud has claimed responsibility, is an indication of significant acceleration in terrorist activities. In fact in his latest TV appearance Mehsud has proudly declared that Taliban will continue to attack targets in Pakistan at the rate of two in a week, if America continues its drone attacks in the tribal areas. Mehsud has been around for a long time in the strife torn areas of NWFP, but amazingly despite his frequent TV appearances, the Pakistani security forces have failed to apprehend him. It is therefore incumbent upon the government to give the people of Pakistan a convincing proof of their efforts to apprehend Mehsud and his lethal network of terrorists who are shooting down innocent people in the so-called high security areas of the country like sitting ducks. The government also owes an explanation to the people for their abject failure in controlling unhindered terrorist attacks. There is a need to take action against the PM's advisor for home affairs and his senior staff members. In fact they should all be called before Parliament to answer for their shortcomings and lapses and punished if found guilty. The ruling party in fact should take a lead in this matter to get rid of the blame for overlooking the misdeeds of the government functionaries. The US government which has promised substantial aid of 1.5 billion dollars a year for Pakistan to uproot terrorism as well as to prop up its sinking economy, has issued a 'White Paper' defining a stable civilian government and a vibrant economy as the main goals of the new US strategy for Pakistan. The paper is part of a detailed report of an interagency policy group that prepared the new strategy for the Obama Administration. A chapter titled Realistic and Achievable Objectives describes the main goal of the new strategy as "disrupting terrorist networks in Afghanistan and especially Pakistan to degrade any ability they have to plan and launch international terrorist attacks." To achieve this goal, the group stresses the need for "assisting efforts to enhance civilian control and stable constitutional government in Pakistan and a vibrant economy that provides opportunity for the people of Pakistan." The paper also recommends an important leadership role for the UN which has been asked to form a 'contact group' on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Countries neighbouring the two states and others with interests and influence in Afghanistan and Pakistan will be asked to join the group. An important aspect of the new strategy is bolstering Afghanistan-Pakistan cooperation. For this purpose, it recommends institutionalising stronger mechanisms for bilateral and trilateral cooperation. During the process of the review, inter-agency teams from Afghanistan and Pakistan went to Washington for trilateral meetings. The strategy recommends turning this into a regular forum which should serve as the basis for enhanced bilateral and trilateral cooperation. Another important aspect of the strategy is engaging and focusing Islamabad on the common threat, i.e. terrorism. The paper notes that successfully shutting down the Pakistani safe havens for extremists will also require "consistent and intensive strategic engagement with Pakistani leadership in both the civilian and military spheres." The engagement must be conducted in a way that "respects, and indeed enhances, democratic civilian authority," the paper adds. The anti-American elements, which do not have a full understanding of the situation, are clamouring against the drone attacks on terrorist hideouts. The government should take them into confidence if it has given the US airbases and permission for the drone attacks. It is easy to say that Pakistan should cut off its relations with the US, but most difficult to do. This is an impossible demand which will destabilise Pakistan by handing it over to Taliban and ruin its economy or whatever is left of it. These are most difficult times for the country and its survival is at stake. However, the government should not accept unreasonable demands from irresponsible quarters which might plunge the country in another crisis. The writer is former director news, PTV E-mail: burhanhasan@hotmail.com