THERE is now a national consensus across the board in Pakistan that the present form of the Kerry-Lugar Bill is unacceptable for Pakistan as it further compromises its sovereignty; brings in neighbours into Pakistans affairs; puts all the onus on Pakistan to prove that it has done what is expected of it; and targets sensitive segments of the state, including the nuclear programme and the military, in an intrusive and controlling fashion. Even in the context of terrorism, Pakistan has been pronounced guilty as a starting point of the Bill So the aid that may flow from it simply has too many strings attached to it - conditionalities that the nation and most state structures are not prepared to accept. The people including commentators, analysts and groups within civil society had rejected the Bill early on. Now the opposition political parties have rightly raised a strong voice both inside and outside of the parliament, against the present form of the Bill. Strong condemnation has come from the Leader of the Opposition, the leadership of the Tehreek-i-Insaf and JI, and the PML(Q). The Punjab Chief Minister has expressed his serious reservations on the Bill and on this type of intrusive aid. Coalition partner of the PPP in Sindh, the MQM also declared that it will never support any measure that goes against the national interest. Another coalition partner of the PPP, in the Centre, the JUI, has also condemned the Kerry-Lugar Bill. This leaves the government alone in defending the indefensible. This has led to so much confusion that while the information minister was declaring that the KLB was never discussed in the cabinet, the prime minister told the NA that the KLB had been presented before the House on its recommendation. Confusion also prevails in the Presidency especially in the wake of the army taking a strong institutional position against the conditionalities attached to the Bill. Given the consensus that has shown itself in Pakistan, the governments position on the Bill is untenable and destructive for Pakistan. The argument that if Pakistan does not accept the Bill, all aid flows will stop is absurd given that the US needs Pakistan for its war on terror in Afghanistan. Instead, our parliament should reject the bill given the prevailing sentiments and ground realities and ask the US to redraft this Bill - which is as much its own need as it may be Pakistans. After all, the US Congress had to rewrite the nuclear agreement with India after a strong response form the Indian parliament. The nation and the state are one on rejecting the KLB in its present shape. Only the Presidency and the ruling party are isolated on the other side of the fence. Clearly, the time has come for the elected leadership to decide whether it wants to be in synch with the people and the state of Pakistan, or in synch with the US.