After the Mumbai tragedy, we are fast sinking into a quagmire of our own making. Proven or not, Indians are adamantly blaming Pakistan and the rub is that the whole western world, even our American friends, are with them. This, despite our having done as much as we have, in America's 'war on terror'. Our rulers, jelly-kneed and apologetic as ever, are running helter-skelter to no avail. The quagmire we are stuck in had gelled up when we had pushed right into USA's war in Afghanistan against USSR in the eighties. We had, then, allowed in millions of so-called Afghan refugees into our hinterland. They came in with the expertise to smuggle arms of all kind - including the now ubiquitous Klashnikov that has caused a never-ending law and order situation in our frontier provinces. Fast-forward a couple of decades and we had the US-ignited 'war of terror' in which, as luck and our greed would have it, we had to be sucked in. We never seem to understand that the western world and India would never tolerate a strong Pakistan. A nuclear-powered Pakistan with a committed and well-trained army is like a fishbone stuck in their throat. The US would not let us perish because it needs our services but would never let us prosper because a strong Muslim country is not in its interest in this volatile but all-important Middle East region. I wish we start fearing the God a little more and stop fearing US a little less. -DR ZAHEER ASGHAR KHAN, Lahore, via e-mail, November 30.