The top most American military official, Admiral Mike Mullen, has finally spoken the truth. According to reports in the international media, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen has said while speaking on a public forum in Colorado that Pakistan needs nuclear deterrence. He has also admitted that Pakistan's nuclear assets are well-protected and as such these cannot be compared with the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea. While appreciating the American high official's sagacious recognition of ground realities, one cannot help noting the difference between the US Department of State and Department of Defence and why the official statements from US officials seem to differ from each other depending on whether they are spoken in Islamabad or Washington or elsewhere. Conversely, one wonders why the US policy keeps shifting when it comes to its old friend and non-NATO major ally Pakistan, depending on Washington's short, medium and long -term objectives? The natural question now is whether what Admiral Mullen has stated also reflects President Obama's policy on the issue? After all, the US President has sacked a senior US General only a few days back on what was speculated to be "a disagreement on policy". Were it not for the fear of offending delicate civilian sensibilities, one would have asked the American Admiral--now that he has recognised the truth of the matter--to prevail upon others in Washington to review on priority their point blank refusal to Islamabad's request for a civil nuclear technology deal that would have enabled Pakistan to boost power generation and overcome the energy crisis at home. The plain-speaking Admiral must be aware how unfairly his country has treated Pakistan on this issue and only because of unjustified pressure from New Delhi. People in Pakistan are not too happy at the US policies towards Pakistan in general and we have made great sacrifices and suffered an awful lot for the US led war on terror. -RIZWAN HAROON, Lahore, July 2.