President Obama's new Afghan policy, second since his AfPak policy in March, is the subject of much debate both in the US and Pakistan. His first AfPak policy also envisaged a troop surge, doubling the presence of US troops in Afghanistan from 30,000 to 60,000, but it failed to produce the desired results. The previous commander of US forces in Afghanistan General David McKiernan was replaced by the incumbent General Stanley McChrystal, who taking stock of the situation, submitted his commander's appreciation and asked for another troop surge of 40,000 troops. Obama was constrained to ponder over a decision, torn between committing more troops against growing public criticism and announcing an exit strategy. His problems are compounded by the fact that neither the Afghan National Army is in a position to take over the responsibility of maintaining law and order nor is the Afghan government credible and reliable to shoulder the responsibility of governing the country. Although President Obama has announced a date of July 2011 to commence the extraction of US troops from Afghanistan, yet the task at hand to train and build Afghan military forces and civilian structures to assume responsibility after the United States withdraws, is going to take much longer than the envisaged 18 months. As far as Pakistan is concerned, the policy may be called "Afghan" but Pakistan has a key role in it. Whatever President Obama may have left unsaid, was spelt out by the media, for example, David E Sanger and Eric Schmitt's New York Times story of December 2, 2009, titled: Between the lines, an expansion in Pakistan reveals: "...quietly, Mr Obama has authorised an expansion of the war in Pakistan as well - if only he can get a weak, divided, suspicious Pakistani government to agree to the terms." S Rajgopalan, in his Express Op-Ed, US will act if Pakistan cannot deliver: Obama, claims: "In a blunt warning to Pakistan, US President Barack Obama has said its use of terror groups like Lashkar-i-Taiba to advance policy goals cannot continue, making it clear that Washington may be impelled to use any means at its disposal to rout insurgents if Islamabad cannot deliver." Ms Candace Putnam, the US Consul General in Peshawar telling a media roundtable: "Our intelligence shows that some of the Al-Qaeda leadership is in Pakistan." Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, informing a US Congressional hearing that Islamabad had retained its links with the militants because it doubts America's will to remain in the country for long enough to win the war. In another New York Times story over the weekend, it was claimed citing unnamed officials that "the White House has authorised the expansion of the CIA's drone programme in Pakistan to complement President Barack Obama's plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan." Pakistan is engaged in an intense war against extremists and terrorists in South Waziristan. Earlier, it cleared the Swat region of the miscreants. As a retaliation Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Lahore are in the grip of terror attacks, losing scores of innocent lives in each assault. Contrastingly, chants of "do more", "Pakistan is not tackling the Al-Qaeda and Taliban targeting US and NATO forces in Afghanistan" rub salt in the wound. The situation has become so precarious as far as the security situation is concerned that it is high time we develop our own Pakistan policy. At the moment it is being alleged that we are acting under duress from the Occident. Some doubting Susan Thomases still claim that "this is not our war" Perhaps, they are not willing to accept the fact that it is our men, women and children being slaughtered in the mosques, schools, and marketplaces. The need of the hour is that Parliament, the armed forces and the opinion builders including the media should put their heads together and evolve a cogent, rational and effective Pakistan policy, which should be Pakistan-centric, identify who is the enemy and present a practical solution to our problems. Let the armed forces formulate military strategy but its execution should be after the civilian government authorises it; let the option of dialogue not be ruled out. More importantly, the Pakistan policy must be clear as to how to deal with the West. We should stop being apologetic regarding our nuclear assets. We have an effective, practical and tested Nuclear Command Authority and we do not owe any explanations or clarifications regarding the security of our nukes. Similarly, our strategy must be realistic enough to tackle our own enemies first and flexible to change tactics where required. Let us not be distracted by the chants of "do more" or "not doing enough." Our own Pakistan policy should guide our level of commitment taking into cognisance uniting the people on one platform to battle the enemy within and without as one formidable phalanx. The current practice of playing the Sindh, Pashtun, Balochi and Punjab cards is not only based on narrow nationalism but is making the task of the enemy easier, who is plotting to fracture Pakistan in numerous pieces. The statement by the Army Chief, General Kayani, following the attack on the Rawalpindi mosque on Friday lifted the nation's morale. His words: "The nation, including the army, stands united in sharing their grief," and "Pakistan is our motherland. It is the bastion of Islam and we live for the glory of Islam and Pakistan." "Our faith, resolve and pride in our religion and in our country is an asset, which is further reinforced after each terrorist incident," also brought about a visible change in statements emanating from Washington. Robert Gates, US Defence Secretary, has declared that the US will not pursue Taliban leaders in Pakistan; he also expressed doubts about Osama bin Laden being in Pakistan. Hillary Clinton has declared her satisfaction regarding the security of Pakistan's nukes. It only goes to demonstrate that if we have a comprehensively evolved Pakistan policy, we can focus on combating the scourge of terrorism undeterred. The writer is a political and defence analyst.