WHILE General Kayani's statement on defending the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be widely hailed, many would have wished the condemnation of the killing of innocent citizens in Angoor Adda had been more prompt than delayed for a week. It would also be questioned if routine protests, to which Washington has become impervious, are the most proper response to the violation of the country's territorial integrity. It remains murky how it was possible for two dozen US Navy Seals to conduct a ground attack, spread over hours, without being challenged by Pakistani troops. If The New York Times is to be believed, President Bush, who has already declared the Pak-Afghan border a front line in the War On Terror, had given approval for ground attacks inside FATA in July. The statements of the US CJCS, Defence Secretary and White House spokesperson also indicate the Bush administration has decided to include FATA in its area of operation. According to JCS Chairman Adm Mike Mullen the war in Afghanistan, currently being lost, can only be won if the new strategy, which stresses targeting FATA, is urgently implemented. Seven attacks within 12 days indicate Washington is following a highly aggressive policy. While General Kayani has clarified the Army's stand, what remains to be done is for the political leadership to come clean. According to the NYT story, quoting unnamed senior officials, Mr Bush had initially ordered assaults without the prior approval of the Pakistan government. However, what White House Spokesperson Dana Perino has said creates the perception that the new government in Islamabad had perhaps given a wink of approval to Washington to implement its new strategy. Prime Minister Gilani has meanwhile supported the position taken by the COAS. Considering the way President Zardari, still armed with the extraordinary powers of his predecessor, has been able to override the Prime Minister on important issues like the reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, only a clear-cut and authoritative policy statement from him will clarify the government's position. The US attacks are a highly serious issue. All stakeholders in the War On Terror need to realize that any indiscretion on their part can lead to horrendous consequences. Unless the US is stopped in its tracks, Pakistan is likely to suffer the fate of Cambodia. What is required on the part of the government is to take all political parties on board, which it has miserably failed to do. There must not be any perception of secret deals. The Parliament has to be taken into confidence, if needed in an in-camera session, about the rules of engagement and the options the country has to stop such attacks. The US and the militants have to be confronted with a policy that has the support of all major political parties.