Though Obama made a platitude-ridden statement after his meetings with Zardari and Karzai, certain things still stand out clearly. We are now following America's script from A to Z, if you pardon the pun. There is supposedly a new 'joint' strategy in place. Fine, but one still has two concerns. One: the operative word here is 'joint'. It cannot be that America makes the strategy and we have to dumbly implement it. That would lead to another disaster. Our advice should have been included because we know more about Pakistan and Afghanistan than America does. Sadly, it seems that this is just what is happening. Two: there can only be one viable objective of the strategy, which is to facilitate America's safe withdrawal from Afghanistan as early as possible and leave temporary security and peacekeeping to a multinational Muslim force. It seems that we have not been able to convince America to get over its obsession with its misplaced notion that "Pakistan is obsessed with India." Truth to tell, it is America that is India-obsessed, not just because it imagines that India can be propped up as a bulwark against China, but also because a new country is always in thrall of those with long histories, civilisations and cultures. My advice to Obama: Get over your India obsession. Why should we not be cautious about India? They blame Pakistan for anything that goes wrong. They refuse to solve the Kashmir dispute that is the major cause of armed extremism in India that also fortifies extremism in Pakistan. They have forces on our international border in strike mode and have just finished a war game on the Punjab border. They are fighting us in disputed Kashmir. They are fighting us in Siachen. They are aiding and abetting terrorists in Pakistan and a serious insurgency in Balochistan through their consulates along the Pakistan-Afghan border. They are depriving us of water. I can go on and on. How would America react if Cuba established some 'consulates' along its border with Mexico? They would get totally obsessive. America should know that without India stopping its state terrorism it cannot eliminate non-state terrorism in the region. Its most fanciful misconception that India can be bulwark against China has expanded to India being the policeman of the region. Remember what happened to the Shah of Iran? China can eat up America today if it wants to by just calling in its debt. What chance does India have? Instead America has mollycoddled India into becoming the Israel of Asia. If that is what India wants, good luck to it. America should acknowledge too that it was India that started nuclear terror in South Asia, so it is India's nuclear arsenal that it should be concerned about. Wasn't it Churchill who said: "America does the right thing after exhausting all options?" Instead, America is supposedly hung up on our nuclear weapons. I say 'supposedly' because they know fully well that our command and control is as good as the best. I cannot say the same for India. There is no way that extremists can either 'take over' Pakistan or get their hands on our nuclear arsenal. In fact, America also knows that there is no way even it can get its hands on it or destroy it, despite what the Boston Globe says. Handing over our nuclear assets to America for 'safekeeping' or 'guarding' will lead to just the sort of revolution that is America's nightmare. And the army will be with the revolutionaries. So stop messing around. Did Mr Zardari bring up any of these issues? There is no evidence that he did, but if he did it seems not to have made a jot of a difference. Did he tell Obama to desist from the drone attacks, for no one said anything about them? Did he make Obama understand that India is a big part of the problem and can only be part of any solution if it agrees to solve all these issues? Did President Zardari ask Obama and Karzai about how poppy cultivation and heroin production has once again become such big business after the Taliban had eliminated it? Surely Obama knows that Karzai's brother is the world's biggest heroin smuggler. Could it be that America is still following its old policy of part-financing its wars with drugs money? Not in this day and age surely. So why does he not make Karzai eliminate poppy cultivation again? Doesn't he realise that perhaps the Taliban could be financing their wars with drugs money which Karzai is turning a blind eye to - and I'm not suggesting he is doing it for the sake of his beloved brother. The worst thing to come out of this famous trilateral meeting is this transit trade thing that will allow India to export goods to Afghanistan through Pakistan, a concession it has been trying to get for 40 years. Now it seems that it will. But before you go and lose your temper completely, the silver lining is that what young Mr Qureshi signed with Spanta or whatever he's called was an MoU, which means little until it becomes an agreement. If it comes to that and Parliament passes it, it will be "the unkindest cut of all" to a country that is already suffering from a thousand cuts mostly self-inflicted. It will mean that whatever we export to Afghanistan will be gone, which is most of what they need, for India will ensure that they sell it cheaper than we do. It's entirely possible that they will also send the stuff free - wheat, rice, milk, tissue paper, toilet paper, soap, arms, bombs....And if their trailers and trucks transporting the stuff get blown up by the freedom-fighting Afghan Taliban as the NATO trucks do, will they blame the Pakistani government? No way, surely, not this angelic 'bulwark'. If this transit trade thing goes through, it will sink Mr Zardari's government and his party as surely as God sank Ramses and his army in the sea. The best thing to come out of all this is that the government has decided to eliminate the Pakistani Taliban, starting from Malakand District. People used to ask: "Where is the army?" Have they forgotten that we have democracy again? Now they have got their answer. The army was always there but couldn't move until the elected government told it to. And the elected government wouldn't move until America told it to. The timing is right. Any earlier would have caused an adverse reaction. They have Sufi Muhammad to thank for putting people off the Taliban by repeatedly violating the peace agreement, the Taliban's barbarity, making brainless statements and doing un-Islamic things in the name of Islam. In so doing, the Taliban lost the sympathy of the people. The prime minister should be careful though. We are a confused and hypocritical lot with an intellectually bankrupt elite. Today most are welcoming action against the Taliban. Tomorrow they will accuse the government of mass murder. Remember Lal Masjid? Because Nawaz Sharif has recently been shown the 'light' and made 'honest' by America, he is also pandering to their script and has gone along with the decision. But the moment he sees public opinion turning, he will turn coat and become their sympathiser. So will others. Ditto the media. Thus not only must the government ensure proper perception management, it must also make the best possible facilities for displaced persons. It has the previous government's model of crisis management during the earthquake to go by. Don't think that all this will be over in a few weeks. It could drag on for a long time. The Taliban in Malakand will run to other places. Many are back in our cities. We could see a lot of terrorism in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad in retaliation. Then there are extremists of other ilk, Al-Qaeda and homegrown. And what about Balochistan? Has Obama told Karzai not to give refuge and help to the secessionist Bhramdagh Bugti? Has he told India and Karzai to stop supporting them and the Taliban? What are we getting in return? A pittance, that won't even bridge our deficits. Worse, Obama has repeated that there will be no "blank cheques" without performance. That is why the mantra has changed from "Do more" to "Do better." If America decides that we have not done better they will withhold the money. What a deal If they really want to stabilise our economy, they should pay off our $51 billion foreign debt for starters, give us textile quotas and promise investment in our country. Obviously they want us to remain dependent. If America decides that the government isn't delivering, they have two more 'strategies' up their sleeve. Either team Zardari up with Nawaz Sharif or get rid of Zardari. The first is the same as the Musharraf-Benazir ploy and see what happened to both. The second won't work, because Zardari's real power comes not from the presidency but from the party's leadership. Churchill was right: "America exhausts all option before doing the right thing." The writer is a senior political analyst. E-mail: