The NATO choppers violation of our airspace, reportedly up to 200 metres, in the Chaman area of Balochistan on Tuesday, was only to be expected. For we must admit that our response to NATOs previous adventurist intrusions lacked the firmness that comes with the feeling of a nation offended at the violation of its sovereignty and the murder of its three soldiers that the missiles fired from its planes had killed. We closed only one of the routes - the Torkham crossing - that take vital supplies of fuel, foodstuff and other essential goods required by the NATO/ISAF forces in Afghanistan. And then, without getting an adequate apology for the violations and the assurance that it would respect, in the real sense of the word, our sovereignty in future, we reopened the route. Interestingly, we also allowed the passage of trucks and containers at four other routes, ostensibly carrying goods under the Afghan transit trade, but, as reliable sources maintain, in reality to facilitate the passage of NATO consignments. Besides, NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen, whom our Foreign Minister Qureshi met to lodge a protest, told him point blank that the attack was deliberate, and the US army chief Admiral Mullen confined his reaction to mere regrets at the loss of our soldiers. Thus, nowhere was there any indication that the adventures would not be repeated. Our anger seemed to have been provoked by the death of soldiers, no doubt justified anger, but not quite at the violation of our sovereignty, since only three days earlier the NATO planes had intruded and killed six civilians, without much adverse reaction from us. Added to this background is the reality of drone attacks on FATA, rising in frequency, thanks to our tolerant attitude, since the first incursion took place in 2004. In the first two years, there was one attack each; in 2006 three; in 2007 five; and in 2008 the number went up and 35 sorties were recorded. In 2009, the attacks numbered 55, and the first nine months of 2010 witnessed as many as 77, the last month with the highest tally of 22. Only a smattering of Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters were among the 1,247 killed so far i.e. largely, it were innocent Pakistanis who were the victims. The public suspicion that these assaults were taking place with our authorities connivance turned out to be true as the Americans said so in no uncertain terms. If the Pakistan government were serious in stemming the rot, removing the possibility of NATO planes violating our territory again, it should have resorted to a complete blockage of NATO supplies from the Pakistani side till it had obtained proper apologies and foolproof guarantees that the attacks would not be repeated. It was a good occasion also to assert that, in view of the peoples outrage at drones, Islamabad would not allow any more of them, any past consent notwithstanding.