PRIME Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's observation that Pakistan will give a matching response to any attack on its sovereignty comes amidst growing tension between the two South Asian neighbours, triggered by Mumbai terror attacks. The country's top political and military leaderships, which met in Islamabad to review the preparedness of the armed forces to deal with any external aggression, stressed the need to make India realize through diplomatic channels that, instead of indulging in a blame game, it should come forward and join hands with Pakistan in fighting terrorism that was posing a threat to global peace. News reports indicated that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was also present along with Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and DG ISI Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, briefed the participants of the meeting about his interactions with his counterparts in other countries about the current situation. The timing of the meeting was significant. It could have made the visiting American Senators, including John McCain who called on Mr Gilani the same evening, understand that Pakistan's political and military leaderships were on the same page and could not be deterred by the war hype created by their hostile neighbour. They must also be aware of the reports by some leading international think-tanks indicating that visits by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other American officials in the wake of Mumbai attacks was adding fuel to the fire rather than defusing the tension. The assessment was obviously based on Dr Rice's conflicting statements during her recent trip to the two South Asian countries. While in New Delhi she publicly backed India's demand that Pakistan take tough measures against the alleged perpetrators of terrorism, the following day, after her meeting with President Zardari in Islamabad, she declared that Pakistan was "very focused and committed" to fight terrorism. Senator McCain in his meeting with the PM recalled that during his presidential campaign he had openly voiced his sentiments against attempts to violate Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity. But later in an interaction with a select group of journalists he was quoted as saying that if Pakistan did not act, and act fast, to arrest those involved in the Mumbai attacks, Indian would be left with no choice but to conduct aerial operations against certain targets in Pakistan. The Americans must stop playing the devil's advocate and compel New Delhi to furnish concrete evidence to Islamabad of involvement in the Mumbai tragedy from the Pakistani side. India needs to be delivered a stern warning against creating war hysteria and at the same time also threatening Pakistan's security by spreading its intelligence networks in Afghanistan.