I want to express my appreciation of Mr. Samad, a student of the Roots school who showed exemplary courage by not accepting a certificate from the US Ambassador in Pakistan, Mrs. Anne Patterson. Without thinking of his personal interest, he gave preference to the national interest. He showed devotion to the country and courage that is so lacking in our leaders. It is my request to our leaders to please stand for your country, not for your personal interest, just as Mr. Samad did in front of the Americans. Our leaders act as if they are under pressure of the Americans but not the people of Pakistan. Our leaders are only concerned about saving their seats and their stint in power but we as a nation are here to protect our country from destruction. I salute this young boy who is fresh out of school but has shown the sort of courage against the Americans that our leaders can't. -ASMA AHSAN, Islamabad, via e-mail, June 19.