The fears contained in my last two articles titled The expanding theatre of war (November 22) and A growing sense of insecurity (November 29) have come true within a space of less than a week. In the first of these pieces, I had dealt extensively with the government's tacit collusion with the US in the fulfilment of its agenda by expanding and intensifying the theatre of war with an intention of destabilising the country while, in the second piece, I had taken cognisance of the growing feeling of insecurity amongst the people regarding the ability, willingness and preparedness of the NROed leadership in dealing with the momentous challenges that the state is confronted with. Ever since assuming the mantle of power in the country almost nine months ago, the government's misrule has been replete with instances of wilful neglect of its primary responsibility to remove the glaring contradictions separating its avowed public postures from its practices regarding the basic ailments that plague the system. These relate to the advent of an independent judiciary, the framing of a coherent, viable and effective strategy to combat the scourge of terrorism, rehabilitation of national honour and sovereignty that had been so gravely compromised during the nine years of rule of the former dictator and the initiation of steps to check the widely reported instances of corruption and abuse of power by its stalwarts. Of late, a conscious effort on the part of some of its leading lights, including the speaker of the National Assembly, to actually subvert the working of bodies formed under the constitution can also be added as another feather in their over-decorated caps featuring numerous medals received in recognition of meritorious services rendered in stalling progress towards resolving critical issues with the sole intention of further perpetuating the inherited dictatorial mindset. The government's knee-jerk reaction to the Indian charge of Pakistani complicity in the Mumbai carnage came in the shape of its thoughtlessly agreeing to despatch the director general, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to India to cooperate in the probe (?). This sent shock waves across the country and the decision had to be reversed within hours on the reported intervention of the military high command. The government either failed in its half-baked attempt to understand the complexities surrounding such a decision, or did not make the requisite effort to place the Indian demand in its right perspective and, in a show of over-eagerness to convince its masters of unquestioned subservience, surrendered tamely. The consequences were grave that will continue to bedevil the efforts that may now be initiated to remedy the situation. Judgements are being bandied around even before the initiation of an impartial probe into the Mumbai attacks and there are calls from the Indo-US clique demanding of Pakistan to cooperate 'urgently, transparently and with special responsibility'. To what, one may ask? The logical course should have been to undertake the probe first to delineate the fact from the fiction and then proceed with taking effective measures to pursue the perpetrators and to forestall a repeat of such barbarous assaults in the future. Nothing of that seems to be underway in the current instance. Instead, verdicts are being announced without the requisite trial and demands being made without knowing who really are responsible for the heinous attacks. This strategy is in contravention of the universally accepted norms and procedures of law and may further precipitate the growing sense of alienation and deprivation on the part of a large section of the world population which is put under the microscope even at the hint of anything undesirable happening around the globe. This does not make for a recipe for cure. Instead, it is a blatant provocation to further fuel the crisis beyond manageable proportions. The game plan of the Indo-US lobby has become patently transparent as a consequence of the dastardly attacks in Mumbai. It is to encircle, isolate and ultimately denude Pakistan of its vital and legitimate right to survive as an independent and sovereign state and to defend itself with honour and dignity. The strategy is to allow India to move into Afghanistan following the US and NATO withdrawal from that country and to further destabilise Pakistan for either an internal implosion, or just withering away in the face of relentless assault from across its eastern and western frontiers. The tragedy is that, confronted with this dire situation, our leadership is giving an indelible impression of having outsourced our defence to the US and India lobby. By further compounding the unnecessary contradictions within the country, the latest being the criminal attempt to defend the beleaguered chief justice who has been accused of using his official position in having the marks of his daughter increased to facilitate her admission into a medical college, the ruling conglomerate is only serving the interests of those powers who have little intention to help us survive. Instead of taking steps for forging national unity by removing the niggling contradictions that constitute the cause for consistent laceration of the national fabric, it is heralding further division of an already truncated society. In the darkened alleys of Islamabad, the only redeeming feature has been the successful convening of the All Parties Conference (APC). Credit for this should squarely rest with the opposition parties who, in an unmistakable show of solidarity in spite of numerous provocations by a faltering government, demonstrated their commitment to the unity, security and sovereignty of Pakistan. The unequivocal reiteration of our national resolve to defend the frontiers of the country in the face of accruing aggressive intentions is, indeed, praiseworthy. But, there is a need to go further. There is a need to use this unity in their ranks to apprise the ruling concoction that the responsibility for defending the country must continue to rest with the people of the country and its defence forces and, under no circumstances, should it be forfeited to those powers that are out to destabilise and demoralise Pakistan. The naked intent of the Indo-US lobby has already shown through the smoke screen of the dastardly attacks on Mumbai and no longer can it be perceived as only a figment of imagination. The stakes are high. The game plan is being put into final motion to ostracise Pakistan and declare it as 'part of the problem' rather than as 'part of the solution'. It is beyond the fossilised intellect of the NROed leadership to comprehend the enormity of the challenge. It is, therefore, for the people to rise and embrace the cause of Pakistan. The writer is a media and political analyst based in Islamabad E-mail: raoofhasan@hotmail.com