Does this decide anyone on whether Musharaff's regime is actually an ally?
Pakistan has made clear it will not tolerate a US military operation against Osama bin Laden or other al-Qa'ida targets inside its territory, as Washington continues to push President Pervez Musharraf to do more to confront militants.
"Any attack inside our territory would be unacceptable," a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Tasnim Aslam, said. "Any such action would be irresponsible and dangerous. We are combating terrorism in our own interest. We do not want our efforts to be undermined by any ill-conceived action from any quarter that is inconsistent with the principles of international law."
Analysts say the rebuff - triggered by comments over the weekend by US officials claiming it maintained the right to strike suspected terrorism targets anywhere - represents a rare public glimpse of intense private negotiations between the governments. The US has been pushing General Musharraf to do more to prevent the stream of people heading to training camps inside his country.
"You cannot stop the stream. You have to shut the camps, which are all in Pakistan," said Barnett Rubin, a senior fellow at New York University's Centre on International Co-operation. "If they were in Afghanistan they would have been bombed by now."