General (retd) Pervez Musharraf once again appeared on almost all television channels after a long time, all arrogance that he radiated when in power gone. He is the one single person who did maximum damage to this country's sense of sovereignty way back in 2001 when he agreed to the US demands for assistance in order to launch an attack on neighbouring Afghanistan. That country is now under the US and NATO forces' occupation resented and resisted by the Afghan tribes in keeping with their history. The result is that the country remains in deep turmoil and arguably the US is in a quagmire there. Violence is widespread and there is, according to the people who know, no government beyond Kabul. What was conceived as a quick, shock and awe operation remains a failure even eight years later. The allied forces of occupation are nowhere near controlling the country. They are bunkered in Kabul, in a manner of speaking, as the Afghan resistance and Al-Qaeda continue to fight them. Frustrated by their failure, the Karzai government blames Pakistan for their problems, something that the Americans buy although they now see him as a liability. As a consequence, the war has been brought into the tribal area, destabilising the NWFP and creating a serious security situation for the rest of the country. The rest of the country too has been rocked by repeated and massive acts of terrorist violence affecting stability of daily life in this country. Terrorism has slowed economic activity, aggravating the financial melt down, and investors are unwilling to come here. A breeding ground for terrorists is how some people describe Pakistan today. Convinced that the failure to firm up their control over the country was on account of the support of Afghan resistance in FATA, the Americans began attacking it. With the coordination of the Pakistani security forces and American intelligence, the US/NATO coalition forces began firing missiles from predator drones - the unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Although they have actually sent in troops to kill people and destroy villages in some cases, they have mostly used drones for launching missiles on different targets. Starting in 2006, the drone attacks have killed men, women and children indiscriminately. According to the record, there were 10 attacks in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, the figure shot up to 36 29 of these attacks were after August, after Mr Asif Ali Zardari took over as president. This year alone, in just over two weeks, there have been at least six drone strikes in the tribal area in less than two months. The first one came days after the inaugural speech of President Obama and the last one in Kurram last Monday, killing thirty people. Thus, over the years, there has been a 'surge' as the war to win the hearts and minds of people is lost and hatred for the US spreads far and wide in the country. The US military believes that the surge has gotten them "high value terrorist suspects", given that the intelligence network and the cooperation of the ISI have improved. But in fact, the predator killings are creating more enemies than they are "wiping out." There are reports that more and more tribesmen are joining the Taliban to "avenge their brothers in Afghanistan." In the mind of the tribesmen, Musharraf collaborated with the Americans, something they see as a grave betrayal after the cooperation they gave against the Soviets. They hated Musharraf then and do so now as much as they hate the US. They are also not satisfied with the incumbent government because it is still pursuing Musharraf's policies in the tribal belt. This is an acrimony that will last. The scale of death and destruction in FATA is too big to be easily forgotten by a people who take 'revenge' as part of the tribal code etched into their psyche. In the meanwhile, Dianne Feinstein, the head of the US Senate Intelligence Committee has dropped a bomb shell by saying last Friday that they were launching drone attacks on FATA from inside Pakistan and so did not understand what the country could be protesting about Although the Pakistani foreign minister denied it on Sunday, although the people may not believe him, given the low credibility of this government. A day later, it was reported that during a Drone strike in Kurram 30 people were killed. Beggars can't be choosers. Pakistan, afflicted by years of misrule, corruption and poor governance, no rule of law or access to justice, has leaned heavily towards the US for support. The US aid, in one way or another, has kept its economy afloat. An adventurer army, corrupt bureaucracy and equally unscrupulous politicians have kept the country vulnerable to foreign pressures. The Americans have invested here long enough; now is the time to pay up. Shylock the Jew is demanding his "pound of flesh." The writer is a former ambassador at large