Some intellectuals say the lesson of history is that nothing is learned from history. President Zardari has made the same mistake Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan made 60 years ago. He was invited by the then superpower, Soviet Union, for his first official visit to Kremlin. Before an acceptance was conveyed by Pakistan, the US also invited him. His fellow cabinet ministers urged him to visit the US first. Liaquat Ali Khan, thus, went to US and the nation has been paying the price for that mistake till today. The Soviet Union went whole hog with India and proved to be an invaluable ally in its campaign to disintegrate Pakistan that culminated in 1971. Like Liaquat, President Zardari had also declared that his first official visit will be to China but then went back on his words or was compelled somehow to visit the US first. The Chinese leaders, large-hearted as they are, must have felt slighted, just like the Soviets did six decades ago. Zardari could have sent his Prime Minister to New York for the empty speech to be made at UN and should have gone himself to Beijing. That would have been proper. The impact of that visit would have been quite favourable for Pakistan's friends and it would have conveyed a message of some meaning to Washington also. -MUHAMMAD ARSHAD NADEEM, Islamabad, via e-mail, September 28.