It has been probably overdue to take control of the Shamsi airbase from which the USA flew drones to attack Pakistans own tribal areas. However, the takeover itself has given rise to questions of crucial importance for the future. Perhaps, the first would be why the Army has only taken over partial control, and not full control. The taking over of an airbase should be simply a matter of the occupying force intimating when it would vacate, and the force supposed to take over, doing so. At a stretch, this should not occupy more than a morning. The excuse being made is that the base was leased by Pakistan to the UAE back in 1992, and it was the UAE which gave the USA the base, and the takeover from the UAE is taking time. Again, this should not occupy any party for long, with the important thing to note is that while the UAE might have a role in the allied paperwork, it cannot have a physical role in the matter. Of course, it should be noted that it is still to be found out whether a country which has received a base from another on a lease, can give it away to another. Another question exercising Pakistani minds has probably got an answer, that of whether the drone attacks would cease their almost routine violations of Pakistani sovereignty, and the accompanying death they rain on Pakistani citizens in the tribal areas, in the process causing a sentiment of vengeance directed against the USA and its perceived allies, such as the Pakistan government, to arise among the survivors. The answer is that the base is shifting to Nangarhar province in Afghanistan. In short, the USA plans to keep up the drone attacks on the tribal areas, but from Afghan soil, not Pakistani. This should be seen in the context of the testimony of US Commander in Afghanistan, Gen David Petraeus, to a Senate committee, in which he said the war in Afghanistan would shift focus to the eastern border, and there would be more special forces and intelligence there. The shifting of the drones seems to be part of this process, and it seems likely that the vacation of Shamsi is more due to the redeployment and reconfiguration of US forces rather than because of any pressure the Pakistan government might have exerted. Pakistan should not accept the cynicism which the USA seems to be applying to it. The US thinks that drone attacks on the tribal areas will somehow grow more acceptable to it once they originate from another country. Pakistan should break off the alliance forthwith if it is based on such contemptuous assumptions.