The threat of retaliatory attacks in Pakistan notwithstanding, the decision to let the sleeping dogs of North Waziristan lie would be tantamount to declaring that the Pakistani state endorses terrorism.
Whether the Pakistani leader has "a weakening hold on power" and does not want to be seen as "kowtowing to US pressure" that has led him to disagree with the US President or, concluding from this line of thought, left to himself he would have replied in different terms is not relevant. He has conveyed the sense of the nation, and that is what a democratically elected leader ought to be doing.
The only silver lining in the so far impossible task of trying to reconcile the conflicting demands of the various ethnic groups, is that none of these groups have any intention of wanting to opt out from the political process or seek independence.
The Americans must be made to understand that they are not above the law in this country and that in case they violate any law they should also be ready to receive the punishment that will be staring at them in future.