The two major coalition partners of the new government deep down seem to be falling apart sooner than expected on the most crucial issue of fighting terrorism. It became all too clear when, as reported by an national daily, the PP leaders while talking to Us officials Negroponte and Boucher informed them "that they would continue the war on terror because it was in the country's interest" whereas the PML(N) leaders told them off "that they cannot turn their own country into a killing field". There is so much more to Zardari's seeking greater cooperation with the US than meets the eye. If the US with the existing level of cooperation could extract from Pakistan a secret deal to target the people in the tribal areas then perhaps under greater cooperation then it could extract an even more pernicious secret deal enabling it to march in its troops into Pakistan in the name of helping the country in fighting what Zardari calls a war on Pakistan itself. Near about the same time Sharif while addressing a Joint Press Conference with the leader of the Jamaat-i-Islami insisted upon a dialogue with extremists. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gillani assured the American delegates that "it (terrorism) is also a matter of concern for us and we will confront it with all our determination" and that the new government would continue to fight terrorism in all its forms by using democratic economic and strategic means. Here expressions like "confront", "continue to fight terrorism" and "using strategic means" are the operational parts of the assurance and as such it does not represent the viewpoint of coalition partners who have collectively elected him as the PM. What he assured the American delegates implies more or less the new government's commitment to continue the Musharraf's policy. The other major party of the coalition namely the PML(N), far from owning the war on terror as Pakistan's war, categorically refused to "turn Pakistan into a killing field". Other coalition partners too insist more on dialogue than on confrontation. Prime Minister Gillani should have ventilated the consensus viewpoint of the coalition on such a crucial issue rather than the viewpoint of his own party. It may be recalled that it was President Bush who so assiduously worked out a power sharing deal between President Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto with the objective of adding the political sinews of Benazir to the military muscle of President Musharraf to ensure US victory on the ongoing war on terror. Benazir thus arrived in Pakistan heavily saddled with the baggage of fighting the war on terror in collaboration with President Musharraf. A little before Benazir's arrival Negroponte minced no words in saying that Benazir and President Musharraf were the two moderate leaders fitted to lead the country and fight the war on terror. Coming to the much talked about three-pronged counter terrorism strategy. Great stress has been laid on improving the capability of the intelligence network connected with the prevention and connection of the terrorism. It may be recalled that the most advance and the most well equipped American intelligence agencies so badly failed in Afghanistan in tracking down the hideouts of Osama, Umer and Gulbadin and in preempting or foiling the lethal strikes by the ragtag Taliban. Robert Fisk in his article in the Independent (London) of December 06 2001 has recounted his interview with American intelligence officers who had just returned from Afghanistan after serving for six months in the intelligence service. Says the intelligence officer "we did not catch what we were supposed to catch there was an over expectation that technology could do more than it did. They started using couriers to hand carry notes on paper or to repeat the message from their memory and this confused our system. Our intelligence is high tech; they went back to the purgative method that American cannot adapt". As to the strategy of holding dialogue with the militants Zardari in his recent interview has already ruled it out. US secretary of State Condoleezza Rice too has already spurned the idea of having an understanding with the militants. McCormack has held out a subtle warning that the US aid to Pakistan may be cut off incase it does not continue as before to fight terrorism. The US Vice President Dick Cheney while speaking to the press at Kabul on March 20 said "I expect they (Pakistan) will be a good effective friend and ally of the United States just as the previous government has been...". The French President the other day has come out with the confession that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won at all that can be aimed at is to avoid a defeat. How sad and surprising that while the West has already started thinking in terms of reconciliation with the Islamic militants the PPP leader Asif Zardari and Pakistan's Prime Minister Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani should have been promising to Negro Ponte and Boucher to confront and fight the Islamic militants. E-mail: