An e-mail currently being circulated in the Washington metropolitan area lists the number of Indian Americans in key policy positions in the White House and elsewhere in the federal government. Its stated message trumpets the presence of Indians on the national stage. Its unstated message is the Pakistani absence. When accosted with this, the big wigs of the Pakistan community routinely defend that we are new and it will take time and advise patience, with the plea that things will get better with the passage of time. It is a recipe for being docile and content in a subservient role. Pakistani presence in the US is no longer new. Much time has elapsed and the results reveal that things are not getting appreciably better where it matters. Later arrivals, and even those coming from non-English speaking cultures, such as Korea and Vietnam, have made more US headway. Too much togetherness within and too little outreach to the mainstream community may have been contributory factors to under-achievement. Evidence suggests that the few who did have proximity to the power-wielders often showed neither the commitment nor the equipment to make a persuasive impact. Also, the priorities among some affluent Pakistanis in chasing VIPs squandered and misdirected the energies and focus of an entire generation, through the message that the sure way to attract influentials is not through will and skill but to tempt by flashing dollar bills. This methodology has not been a confidence-building measure. Perhaps one of the reasons why the movie, Three Idiots took off is because it hits on a prevalent mindset, with its shallow fixation on the externals and the material. In this context, education enslaves rather than liberates. It reinforces elitism and reduces the common touch with those forgotten by society. India continues to seek an expanded platform. Its relative unease with Obama has not deterred India from nursing grander plans. It still continues to crave a permanent seat with veto power on the UN Security Council, a prospect which is dimmed because of Indias contentious tussle with Pakistan over Kashmir. India also wants to be included in the area of responsibility of CENTCOM (the main US military command structure responsible for the US military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf) - a wish the US is unlikely to accommodate for fear of antagonising an already wary Pakistan. For all of the foregoing, India openly banks on its community in the United States. Many Indians feel nostalgic about the Bush administration during which President Bush was far more popular in India than in the US, having, among other things, through Condi Rice, navigated the legally dubious US-Indian nuclear deal. Here, too, the Indian-Americans did a lot of heavy lifting. Indias global marketing centres around three core selling points: that it is a democracy; that it is a major English-speaking country; and that its world view is similar to the Anglo-American worldview, with a common threat perception toward Muslim radicalism. Stripped of the finery of unctuous rhetoric, the infatuation between the US and India is based on something more basic. Muslim-baiting neo-cons in the US discovered that India, though poor, was rich in its depth of anti-Muslim prejudice, therefore, making it a useful ally. The neo-con blind spots ensured Americas downward slide from its unipolar ambitions into the post-9/11 world of multi-polar reality, which has, according to the New York Times of January 25, impelled US Defence Secretary Gates to concede that: We are in this car together, but the Pakistanis are in the drivers seat and have their foot on the accelerator. Pakistans geo-strategic salience is an established fact. What remains to be established is the performance of the Pakistanis in accordance with their potential. The high-profile Indian presence in America may be doing a favour by sending a compelling message to US-based Pakistanis to do some soul-searching and strive to matter where it matters. The writer is an advocate and a senior journalist.