IT is quite refreshing to hear Prime Minister Gilani maintain the tempo of a principled stand that the government has taken of late to show its annoyance at certain American policies and utterances and assert that Pakistan would not accept any conditional aid that tended to compromise its interests as a sovereign state. Talking to journalists on the occasion of the extension project of Multan airport on Saturday, he rightly pointed out that the US was giving the aid to Pakistan as a frontline state in its fight against global terrorism and dispelled the impression that it would be allowed to harm the country's national interests. Nevertheless, there is urgent need for Islamabad to take up the matter at the highest diplomatic level to make it emphatically clear to the Obama administration that the conditions mentioned in the proposed legislation on the subject ought to be deleted if there were to be smooth sailing in relations between the two countries, something that is of fundamental relevance to the success of US objectives in the region. President Obama needs to recall his earlier thoughts about creating harmonious relations among the countries of the region rather than succumbing to the pressure of a state whose forcible and illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir lies at the root of an ever-present air of hostility. The denial of choice to Kashmiris to decide their future that India as well as international community had promised them gives rise to the feelings of outrage and violent attempts at securing freedom from its yoke. Asking Islamabad to ensure against any anti-Indian display of sentiments looks odd in the face of the Kashmiris' indigenous struggle for freedom. Similarly, the US should appreciate that providing it access to Dr Khan, which is implicit in the proposed bill's wording, would create a severe backlash in the country and would be against our national interests. It is a pity that the US has been allowed to take liberties with Pakistan since 9/11, and drone strikes are one such manifestation. This encouraged the American policymakers and media to assume that US troops could enter Pakistan to deal with terrorist elements. But Islamabad's present stand against drones has, it seems, prevented the US administration from venturing into sending troops. Besides, the lie of the land in the tribal areas that Mr Holbrooke mentioned as he spoke to The Wall Street Journal is forbidding. Entering it physically would amount to taking a leap in the dark. Washington should keep that fact in mind as well while egging Islamabad on to take military action against militants there.