It takes your enemy and your friend, working together to hurt you to the heart; the one to slander you and the other to get news to you, said Mark Twain. Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani during his 3-day official visit to Washington was caught in such a quagmire that he lost the cognizance whether he was visiting a friend or a foe in the White House. Gilani's encounter with Bush on Monday amply demonstrated the truism that Pakistan is ruled by Allah, Army and America. The power or authority in Pakistan still rests with Musharraf and not the Prime Minister who is sandwiched between the interests of Pakistan army and Washington's war on terror. As for Asif Zardari, he is cleverly playing the major role in creating absolute political chaos in Pakistan. Gilani's three-day visit ended in utter disgust for the people of Pakistan, who expected that he would return with a bagful of dollars to ease the economic crunch. He did come back, but with a doleful of accusations that he had failed to carry out Washington's orders in letter and in spirit. Bush pressed Gilani to take a tougher stance against Pakistan-based Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, who launch attacks against Afghanistan. If, Bush and Co. don't get what they want, look for a massive upsurge in "hot-pursuit raids into Pakistani territory by the US and NATO forces. It appeared to be one-way dialogue with Gilani at the receiving end, who beseeched Bush not to act unilaterally against Islamic militants in Pakistan. Later talking to the media, Gilani said "We are committed to fight against extremists and terrorists who are destroying and making the world unsafe. This is a war against Pakistan and we will fight it squarely, as it is a matter of our own survival. "The US needs to be more patient and should avoid taking unilateral actions in the region," he implored. Apparently, Gilani has no say in ongoing operations in Swat and adjoining tribal areas, he has been besieged with the accusations that the FATA was harbouring terrorists and anti-US militants fighting American and NATO troops over the border with Afghanistan and that his government must launch an effective crackdown. Just hours before Gilani's tte--tte dialogue with Bush, an unmanned US Predator launched missile strikes on a housing complex at Azam Warsak in South Waziristan. The timing was not fortuitous and Bush could have confronted Gilani with the information that the drone strike had reportedly killed al-Masri, an Egyptian-born al-Qaeda leader on the US government list of 37 most-wanted terrorists. The killing could have been exploited to lend credence to the allegation that bin-Laden and the al-Qaeda were being sheltered by the Pashtun tribesmen right under nose of military operations. In fact, Gilani himself is a dependent prime-minister, whose reins are in the hands of Zardari who depends more on an un-elected Interior Ministry Advisor, who in turn depends more on the bureaucratic network (responsible for the deadly Lal Masjid debacle) than the elected prime minister. This has further weakened his position and a vast majority of the people do not take him seriously. Why has he been put in such a situation in which his ministers do not take him seriously? Only, Asif Ali Zardari can resolve this "Sphinx riddle." If, he doesn't resolve this riddle immediately, it would certainly lead to the "mythological end." Pressure on Gilani to change policy was taken to a new level on Tuesday with a frontline story in the New York Times. The newspaper published that a top CIA figure, Stephen R Kappes had been sent to Islamabad on July 12 to confront Pakistan's top officials with evidence that members of the ISI (Inter-services Intelligence), were aiding the Pushtun warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani. A June Pentagon report on the war in Afghanistan named Haqqani as one of the principal actors in the growing anti-US insurgency in the country. Kappes accompanied outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen during his talks with Pakistani government and military leaders. According to the Times, "It was a very pointed message saying 'Look, we know there's a connection, not just with Haqqani, but also other bad guys and the ISI, and we think you could do more and we want you to do more about it.' The fact that there had been longstanding links between the ISI, Haqqani, as well as other warlords was hardly a matter of surprise, especially to CIA that played a major role in forging and financing such links during the 1980s, when the ISI served as a conduit for US money and weapons to flow to the Pashtun Mujahideen waging guerrilla war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Jalaluddin Haqqani played a key role in integrating Islamic volunteers from around the world, brought to the tribal areas by men like bin-Laden, who were the American heroes fighting against the USSR. The Washington Post reporter Steve Coll described in his book "Ghost Wars" the nexus of relations that existed between Haqqani, bin-Laden, the ISI and the CIA during the Islamist push to overthrow the pro-Moscow government after the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1988. Coll wrote, "Haqqani was in frequent contact with bin-Laden and the ISI officials. As for their part, ISI and CIA came to rely upon Haqqani for testing and experimentation with new weaponry systems and tactics. Haqqani was so favoured with enormous supplies that he was in a position to broker these and to help equip the Arab volunteers gathering in his region. The CIA officials operating from Islamabad regarded him as a proven commander who could put a lot of men under arms at short notice. Both Haqqani and the ISI were held in high esteem by Washington at that time. Now, what a sudden change; the same ISI that facilitated the dissipation of Soviet occupation has become a bte noire for Washington. Premier Gilani was handed over a damning charge-sheet by the CIA chief Hayden on ISI'S alleged links to militant activities and was bluntly told to rein it in during their meeting in Washington. According to some diplomatic and US sources, the allegations included in the charge-sheet were almost identical to what the New York Times had reported on Wednesday. Hayden, who had met Gilani at a dinner on Monday, is believed to have told the Prime Minister of Pakistan to do something about the ISI involvement with militants. Hayden cautioned Gilani that even a change of government in Washington would not help Pakistan, as whoever occupied the White House in January 2009, would want Islamabad to rein in the ISI. President Bush during his meeting with Gilani on Monday too expressed his concern and irritation over the leaking of information to terrorists by the ISI. This is the first time that the White House and the CIA have used the American media to openly charge that ISI is abetting the guerrilla war against the US occupation of Afghanistan. These claims give support to allegations by the Afghan government that ISI was involved in the attempted assassination of President Karzai in April, as well as the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul last month. While three-pronged attack has been launched by Washington, New Delhi and Kabul, it seems that our Prime Minister was not seriously briefed either by the foreign office or the interior ministry or for that matter by the army to put up a solid defence against the calculated moves to embarrass and virtually humiliate the Pakistani premier. The over-enthusiastic ministers in Mr. Gilani's entourage immediately came out with un-called for explanations to the media that further worsened the situation. In their keenness to have a photo-session a tame explanation was given that there could possibly be some elements in the ISI against whom action would be taken. What was the need to transgress Prime Minister's prerogative to tackle such sensitive issues? At least Prime Minister Gilani owes an explanation to the people as to who were the fifth columnists who prompted a dangerous move to put the ISI and the IB under the ministry of interior just before his Washington yatra? Gilani has been on the horns of a dilemma. If President Musharraf could not stand before Colin Powell's ultimatum in 2001, there is no reason to believe that Musharraf or Prime Minister Gilani can take a stand now. The whole nation is on the tenterhooks because of the greatest threat that after Afghanistan and Iraq, it perhaps is Pakistan's turn.   The writer is a political commentator