PAKISTAN has accepted the Indian offer of a paltry $5 million in flood aid after India had not got an immediate response from Pakistan, and then moved the heavy guns. The Obama Administration told Pakistan that it should not play politics at this point, and accept the aid. In fact, the State Department spokesman said that the USA expected Pakistan to accept the Indian aid. This came at a time when India has been accusing Pakistani troops of firing across the Line of Control, even though it had engaged in firing first. The aid offer had been repeated by Indian PM Manmohan Singh during his telephone call to his Pakistani counterpart to condole with him over the floods. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced the acceptance of the offer on Friday, apparently in obedience to the USA. It should also be kept in mind that the USA has announced another $60 million in addition to the $90 million it had already announced. Thus the USA has revealed that it is behind the Indian offer, even though it is just a twelfth of the USAs addition to its own commitment. Though India likes to claim that it does not want any other power in the region, the route it has chosen to talk to Pakistan ensures that the USA has a role in the region. Being invited into an essentially minor issue by India would please the USA, and make it clear that its new policeman in the region is India. Though Pakistan should perhaps be more concerned that the USA is interfering on behalf of a power which showed its hostility by engaging in a blame-game at this particular juncture, it should also take note of the signal that has been sent by both the USA and India: that money will come to Pakistan when both agree. Part of the American plan for the region is that India must be entrusted with the purse-strings, and this is just the first symptom. The PPP government has played a reprehensible role, and not only mismanaged the response to the floods, but has also made the receipt of aid a surrender of sovereignty at American and Indian hands. A prompt refusal is even now possible.