Rab Nawaz Choudhry America and Pakistan have been striving to develop through strategic dialogue, the trust required to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, tribal areas on the borders of Afghanistan and its spread deep inside Pakistan. Pakistanis are keenly watching its outcome to a new plan of action to deal with the situation. As expected, many more such dialogues would be planned in future till some final settlement is reached. We have been fighting this war along with the US and NATO allies for the last eight years. Ever since General (retd) Pervez Musharraf surrendered to Bushs telephone call and accepted his dictation, we have been going from bad to worse in this war. The US has been spending a huge amount of money every year, while Pakistan has been battling on multiple fronts in Swat, South Waziristan and suicidal attacks deep inside its cities. The incumbent US administration must realise that the philosophy of friends not masters is the only lasting relationship. If authoritative doctrine had not been applied and war not forced down the throat of Pakistan, an amicable plan could have been formulated with mutual consent. We could have saved the eight years of war, loss of precious lives, and tremendous amount of money that could have been used for reviving the economy of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both, people of Pakistan and America, would be sitting at open restaurants and enjoying their meals discussing mutual interests. Remember, big or small, friends have an equal status and deal with each other in the same spirit. The secret dialogue was the fourth strategic dialogue between the two countries, but it had a special significance because of the level at which it was being discussed. Both sides had come prepared with various proposals, to leave some and accept some in order to demonstrate visible achievements to their respective countries. Unfortunately, the US administration always attaches Indian involvement necessary for every solution in this region. The question here is, where does India stand in the strategic dialogue between Pakistan and America? It is widely known and, thus, an open secret that the Indian foreign and interior ministers were specially called to the US, just a week before the meeting, by the incumbent administration for an advice on the dialogue with Pakistan. Are US officials totally naive that a 'friends enemy is no forum which can honestly deliberate about their problems. The fact of the matter remains that India is being deliberately involved by the US in Afghanistan to neutralise Pakistan in the region. But this will never happen. Firstly, India is in no position to perform this task because of its location. Secondly, Pakistan shall never allow it to do that. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan can mutually sort out their problems with the American help in the long run. The Americans must recall the 1979 War and appreciate Pakistans efforts to fight against the foreign invasion in Afghanistan. Moreover, Muslims from all over the world rushed to Afghanistan to face the Soviet onslaught and it were only because of the jihadis that Soviet Union was defeated. All the other elements, including America and Europe, only chipped in in terms of equipment and money. Moreover, as India was a close friend of the Soviet Union, it played that role with all its resources and used its influence in the region without any hesitation; however, the Indian administration completely failed to create any dent in the victory of Muslims. India is, therefore, in no position to change anything in Afghanistan even today. This is a point to ponder for the American think tanks that wars are fought and won standing with friends only. We, in Pakistan, are interested in the USAs 'exit strategy from Afghanistan and as friends will ensure their safe and pleasant departure. However, modalities may be one of the points to be discussed in the strategic dialogues. India has no role to play in this scenario and I hope that the US think tanks for once will have a rational perception. India and Pakistan are not friends and shall remain so as long as the Kashmir problem is not solved. Unfortunately, American behaviour in the past had been encouraging Indian supremacy over Pakistan, which dragged Pakistan to match Indian nuclear capability. This issue should be a logical entry in any future dialogue. Pakistans political and economic stability is the guarantee to settle the Afghan situation. A prosperous Pakistan is vital for a stable Afghanistan in future. Pakistan is the frontline ally and has been the strongest partner against war on terror. It has suffered the most in this war and that also because of the US, as a friend or through intimidation. However, things have changed and now our relationship rests in friendship only. We need to be compensated for the loss we have suffered: 1.5 billion dollars per year is no compensation. It is only a day-to-day ration. We really need to get away with our debts to start afresh, reconstitute our energy shortage and reconstruct our industry, which is totally ruined because of the American war. Whosoever has initiated these strategic dialogues might be able to clarify some issues and straighten a few futuristic plans between friends. Let us hope the new dialogues would help us work together to end this operation and any future conflict in the best interest of American, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The writer is a retired group captain, Pakistan Army.