Almost all our rulers have always claimed: "We are not masters of the masses. We are their servants. The masses are our masters. Our only obligation is to serve them." But there is something extremely mysterious about these "servants". As a universal tradition, the wages of a servant are determined by the employer. But the Pakistani rulers who claim themselves to be "servants" are a unique breed of servants. It is not their "masters" i.e., the masses who determine their salaries. It is the "servants" who themselves determine their emoluments. And the emoluments which they pay themselves are phenomenally so high that virtually nothing is left in the treasury for the "masters". Since nothing is left for the "masters", their very survival becomes impossible. They keep dying of starvation. And if starvation prolongs its tortures, they commit suicide. Thus starvation and suicides are the gifts of the "servants" to their "masters". The poverty problem of our masses can be solved overnight. Let the masses determine the remunerations of the rulers. Things would improve magically. Once President Musharraf proclaimed, "We have no magic wand for ridding the masses of their miserable plight overnight." Actually, Pakistan has always had a magic wand. But this wand has always been the exclusive property of the ruling classes. It works like and for the prosperity of these classes. But when it is asked to pay a little bit of favourable attention to the masses, its magical power takes flight leaving it as a dirty deadbody. But at the call of the rulers, the power flies back and the dead wand is reanimated for the service of the rulers. America has been inspired by our rulers. As our rulers have claimed themselves to be the country's servants so America says that its military operations in our Northern areas are for Pakistan's prosperity. Unfortunately, these operations have infuriated Afghanistan, the militants and the Taliban against Pakistan. Actually, by its ruthless military operations, America has let loose the Demon of Dismemberment in Pakistan. The Demon seems determined to cut Pakistan into as many pieces as possible. Karzai must be jubilant. India must be dancing. If dismemberment does take place, it shall be President Bush's greatest achievement during his entire presidential tenure. Uncertainty is hanging like Damocles's Sword over the country's head. One doesn't have the foggiest idea as to what might happen the next moment. Any moment could turn out to be our political doomsday. The country is being mercilessly bashed by all sorts of military tornadoes. The masses are gasping for breath. America has been Pakistan's great friend. When India was tearing East Pakistan off the country, we begged America for help. America despatched its warships. They entered the Bay of Bengal. The marines watched India in action. But instead of restraining India, they enjoyed seeing what India was doing. When India had achieved its mission, America secretly congratulated India and publicly offered its condolences to Pakistan. The condolences further strengthened our friendship with America. The current situation is worse than what it was in East Pakistan. The masses are mortally sacred. America must be preparing itself to offer its condolences once again. Our friendship with America is essentially a friendship of condolences. Let's pray that things don't go America's way. The situation is so chaotic that some analysts have smelt that the president is about to flee the country. But the president has denounced the smelling as pure rubbish. He has proclaimed that he will live and die in Pakistan. He will not seek refuge abroad. But is a refuge available to him abroad? Obviously, a country which grants him asylum exposes itself to the suicidal attacks of the Taliban. Would any country be willing to endanger the lives of its citizens at the cost of protecting a fugitive president? America would be the first country to seal its frontiers against its extremely active partner in its war against terrorism. But wouldn't such an act itself be an act of terrorism against a person who has for years been fighting terrorism for America's sake? Unfortunately, Musharraf let himself be used by America. More unfortunately, instead of using Musharraf, America extremely misused him. This misuse has alienated Musharraf from the Pakistan masses. He is in dire distress. America owes him a debt. It is time for America to pay back the debt. America must help him as he has helped America. But does President Bush have a moral sensibility? Asking such a question in itself is a moral stupidity. Musharraf is utterly at the mercy of destiny. The writer is an academic