Two years after its creation in 1947, Pakistan established diplomatic relations with the US. It acquired the status of a "most aligned ally", as Field Marshal Ayub Khan bragged in the US in 1960. Under General Musharraf that status became MNNA (Major Non NATO Ally). But the US remained in control. In 1965 the US cut off military assistance to Pakistan when it went to war with India, and military sales to Pakistan were not resumed till 1975. April 1979 it cut off economic and military assistance on account of Pakistan's nuclear programme. In 1981, US aid was resumed after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. In 1998, the aid was suspended again on account of Pakistan's nuclear explosion and a long period of sanctions followed. Musharraf's coup came in 1999. In 2001 General Musharraf, in exchange for billions of dollars of assistance to the army, made a decisive shift towards the US and provided all logistical support in their invasion of Afghanistan and hunt for Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda's attack on the heart of the financial district in down town New York on September 11, 2001 had changed the world and the US attitude towards it for a long time to come. Pakistan's cooperation in the US War On Terror that followed has not wavered. It handed over hundreds of Al-Qaeda workers to the US at the cost of its own internal stability. Suicide bombing, a phenomenon unknown in Pakistan has become a routine crime across the country that the intelligence and law enforcement agencies, stretched to the end of their capacity, are faced with. This is the case in spite of full military and intelligence cooperation we have been formally and informally maintaining with the US who is in occupation of Afghanistan. That has led us into a situation whereby around 100,000 troops are engaged in the tribal area and elsewhere in the NWFP with the tribesmen/Taliban/Al-Qaeda in a civil war, no end in sight. General Musharraf left on August 18 but that cooperation is intact. A support for the US government thus seems a constant factor in our foreign policy. Explained simply, the governments in Pakistan, but for a brief period of Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1972-77) who initiated the country's nuclear programme in spite of the American opposition and met a tragic end, have leaned heavily on the US military aid for survival, given its preoccupation with the Indian factor. India nearly four times bigger in size, and given the history of the partition, Pakistan's security took precedence over health, education, eradication of poverty and other social issues. Pakistan having signed US sponsored military pacts, SEATO in Sept 1954 and CENTO a year later, the first military coup in the country was brought about in 1958. It is significant that this was done after President Iskander Mirza had taken the US State Department into confidence and obtained approval for it. With the army taking over, the Americans were facilitated in the management of Pakistan in regional and global politics. This was the beginning of the American control over Pakistan through what we now call a "one window" policy. Americans pursued their interest in this region during the cold war fiercely. They used General Zia to get rid of the Soviets in Afghanistan. And once that happened, they left Afghanistan, Pakistan holding the baby and faced with the twin problems of drugs and violent crime. After 9/11 they came back to invade Afghanistan, this time with the help of General Musharraf who surprised them with his eagerness to cooperate against the very fighters who were used to oust the Soviets. Musharraf took the Pak-US relationship to a new high or low, depending on how you see it. The cold war over and the US now the only superpower in the world, he went for a complete sell out of the country's foreign policy. Natural partnerships are between equals and based on shared objectives. Pak-US partnership has been neither of the two at any stage of the history of this relationship. But billions of dollars worth of military aid has come to Pakistan from the US, its scale under Musharraf being unprecedented. Not surprisingly, therefore, Pakistan's sense of sovereignty has been eroding, now causing serious loss of face. In its War On Terror, US drones have had a free run of the tribal area for some time (under a silent agreement with Musharraf), causing civilian casualties including women and children at will. But on the 2nd of Ramadan (September 3), about 3 AM three US helicopters carrying ISAF troops with US and Afghan soldiers entered Pakistan in Musa Nika (South Waziristan). US soldiers broke into homes and killed more than twenty people, most of them women and children. The crucial element of exclusivity of jurisdiction is gone from our definition of sovereignty. But in Islamabad, a new tenant in the President's House, it seems business as usual. The writer is a former ambassador at large