Pakistan issued a protest against the drone strike that reportedly targeted Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Mansour in Balochistan, in the form of the Prime Minister issuing a token condemnation. Obviously both the government and the military will not be too happy to be kept out of the loop until after the strike was carried out. President Obama’s response after the strike is also indicative of the US not looking to ask for Pakistan’s permission in future incidents either. The attempts to shame the US government over issues of sovereignty, while perfectly justified, are meant to deflect from the real problem; the fact that these high-priority targets keep propping up on Pakistani soil.

The international attention in the fight against terrorism keeps putting Pakistan back under the spotlight, and the state’s valid attempts to fight the menace on home soil lie ignored. The reason for this is simple, the world sees our attempts as selfish, targeting only groups that directly threaten Pakistani stability, while ignoring those that the neighbour in the west is plagued by. The criticism might be excessive, in terms of the Afghani government exaggerating the influence Pakistan still wields with the Afghan Taliban. But on the other hand, it is not entirely unjustified, as there has been no significant mention of targeting the Haqqani Network of the Afghan Taliban even in the local media. The Al-Qaeda encounters seem staged as well, to make matters worse.

The fact that this drone crossed all sorts of boundaries in this strike makes both the Pakistani government and the people uneasy. Only four other drone attacks have taken place outside the tribal agencies, out of a total of 291 strikes. The state is bracing itself to take on the US diplomatically in the face of another international embarrassment after the capture of Bin Laden in Abbottabad, but the US is likely to keep using its tried and tested policy of shooting first, and asking for permission later.

But what does the US get from the killing of Mansour? This will hardly generate peace, or any talks with the Taliban, and may even help Haqqani climb up in Taliban leadership. If it was about a show of force, the consequences will be on the Pakistani and Afghani people when a backlash happens. If it was done with covert Pakistani help, the US should soften it stance on the F-16s and aid to Pakistan. If not, we are on the wrong side of history and we need to get our house in order. The first way to do that is to eliminate former assets, discreetly, to minimise the backlash, which undoubtedly coming our away. If this is the game, that all terrorists will be pursued, and if Pakistan can’t handle them the US will, then we have to go all out, and finish the game before the US does.