The US and the West generally should have been happy after 1989 when their arch nemesis, the Soviet Union imploded. It didn't turn out to be the case. The West needed a replacement, an external enemy to keep it from turning on itself as happened twice in the past century, with devastating consequences. There was also the compelling need to keep its formidable military-industrial complex going. Then, fortuitously for the West, 9/11 happened and Afghanistan was attacked. The military regime in Pakistan, answerable only to one man, decided to make it Pakistan 's war. It was not done for the good of the country but for the survival of the regime. What Musharraf didn't but should have known was that at about the time when he was being wined and dined at Camp David, President Bush told Tony Blair on January 30, 2003 that after Iraq, among others, it was the turn of Iran and Pakistan (Douglas Jehl in the NY Times of October 14, 2005). Musharraf opened up military, air and naval bases to foreign troops, agreed to provide long-term logistical support and gave their intelligence services a free run of the country. He also undertook the construction of hundreds of kilometres long fence along the border to help a hostile regime survive in Afghanistan. For a better understanding of what it meant, it may be appropriate to quote from an article by the CIA insider, Michael F Scheuer, in the Washington Times of Friday, April 7, 2006 (Scheuer's book Imperial Hubris, p 55): "Pakistan, for example, had no enemies in the Taliban or Al-Qaeda until (the Pakistani leader) made them such at our behest. Likewise, there could have been no better Afghan government for Pakistan than the Taliban regime, and yet (the Pakistani leader) helped America destroy it and replace it with the Karzai regime, a government that has allowed an enormous increase in the Indian presence in Afghanistan. "To date (2006), Pakistan has lost more soldiers killed and wounded than the US-led coalition in Afghanistan. More dangerously, the offensives - are stoking the fires of a potential civil war between Islamabad and the Pashtun tribes that dominate much of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. "This situation is heaven-sent for Pakistan 's enemies, the Karzai regime and India, to fuel Pashtun irredentism. If successful, this could lead to the creation of a country ungovernable without Western bayonets, reducing Islamabad 's domain to an indefensible sliver of territory, faced by angry warlike tribes to the west and a billion-plus, nuclear-armed Indians to the east. For New Delhi, this would be nirvana on earth." The participation in the West's war had devastating strategic consequences that any student of history could have anticipated. The cost to Pakistan has been horrendous due to this war without end and not simply in terms of lives lost either. The US central command had put out an estimate of these on its website that was removed shortly afterwards in 2002 at the urging of the government of Pakistan. One of the paragraphs read: "Operation Enduring Freedom adversely affected the already fragile economy of Pakistan. Major losses were caused to the civil aviation, tourism, investment and shipping due to rise in the rates of insurance. Besides this, Pakistani exports also suffered adversely and foreign investments experienced a visible decline. According to a rough estimate, Pakistan 's economy suffered a loss of over US$10 billion since October 2001." That was just in the first few months. We have been told that Pakistan has received US$10 billion worth of aid in the past seven years. How it was spent, we don't know because it was not credited to the central exchequer. It was accounted for separately and has not been open to public audit. What we do know is that not one new dam, hospital, university or large-scale industry worth the name was established nor a single mile of railway line, highway or kilowatt of electricity added to what we had eight years ago. In the meantime, the population has increased by some 30 million - roughly equal to the total population of this part of Pakistan at the time of independence. The US has 25000 troops deployed in Afghanistan and by its own admission spends $12 billion a year to maintain them. According to a recent statement by our president, Pakistan has committed one hundred and fifty thousand troops to this war without end. He did not mention how much it costs Pakistan but it can be easily estimated through simple extrapolation. Is it any wonder after this that the country is teetering at edge of bankruptcy? More importantly, there is no sympathy or appreciation for the sacrifices that the rulers of Pakistan continue to make at the expense of its people. Occasionally, we are told that Pakistan is an "important non-NATO ally" but evidently it does not translate into even giving her a bridging loan to get over the present economic difficulty. The cynic might say that the situation has been deliberately created for achieving the ultimate western objectives in Pakistan. There is no example in history where a country has done so much, at such great cost to itself, for so little in return. Each country has its own set of priorities. For Pakistan, these must be the very worrying growth of population, a deteriorating law and order situation, crumbling education, health and transport services, declining state of agriculture, water and power supplies, administrative incompetence and mismanagement, to name a few. What concerns the man in the street is if he has a job, a roof over his head, food for his family, some basic services and a system that protects his rights. Fighting another country's war is not on his list of top-most priorities, nor should it be for the people who rule in his name and at his cost. The writer is a freelance columnist and has authored a book titled Muslims and the West: A Muslim Perspective