As a whole, those few amongst the majority illiterate who speak up or write tend to go overboard on contentious subjects, now particularly when in support of conspiracy theories or in knee-jerk anti-American mode. The approach is rarely realistic, or pragmatic, as Pakistan and Pakistanis perceive themselves to be victims, as if in no way the state or people are in any way responsible for the trials and tribulations which beset them. They do not see that Pakistan itself is the root cause of a good deal of its mass of troubles. On September 1, writing in the publication Foreign Policy, James K Glassman, a former US Under Secretary of State for public diplomacy and public affairs in the George W Bush government, made reference to a New York Times column of August 20 (US Officials get taste of Pakistanis Anger at America). It related how, on August 17, Judith McHale, his successor in office, had sat down with a Pakistani journalist in a hotel conference room in Islamabad for a one-on-one meeting, part of President Barack Obamas strategy to convince the Pakistani people that the United States is their friend. She was expecting a contentious session as the gentleman was known for his criticism of US foreign policy. She got more than she expected. fter giving a polite presentation about building bridges between America and the Muslim world, the journalist thanked McHale. Then he told her: You should know that we hate all Americans. From the bottom of our souls, we hate you. Now, who is the we to whom the journalist refers? Is it you and me? Is it the rickshaw driver in Karachi, or the fruit seller in Lahore, or perhaps the cobbler in Peshawar? It is certainly not the 170-odd million who make up this nation. It is certainly not the people who form long queues each day hoping against hope that the Americans will issue them with a visa so that they may fly off to the Promised Land. It is certainly not the hundreds of thousands of parents who send their offspring to study in the US, as keeping them in college in Pakistan would do little for the development of their minds or their futures. And it cannot be the millions of those of Pakistani extraction who live and work in the US. So, who exactly are the we who have such a forceful attitude - to hate takes quite a bit of energy and brainwashing, particularly if it involves the bottoms of souls. How can one hate and all Americans, 300 plus million people? It is totally irrational to even consider it or to imagine that a sane person actually can hate to that extent. Yes, Pakistan has every right to dislike and to disagree vehemently with the American foreign policy and with the relationship that now exists between Pakistan and the US, which, as with lots of other drawbacks, is entirely of its own making. Its geographical position is just unlucky for it, as are its two neighbours. But nothing can be done about either factor. The past is not another country as far as Pakistan is concerned. Its past is very much wrapped up in its present, in so many different ways. From shortly after its birth when it sought aid from the US and then put itself firmly in the American camp it should have known that something does not come for nothing. It has been Americas playground and America has dealt with it as it willed, always and above all in its own national interest. Fair enough, every country of this world is bound by what it perceives to be its national interest. But the mutual arrangements or deals made between the US and Pakistan have not always been in Pakistans national interest, but in the interest of a few so-called democrats or military juntas, all corrupt, inefficient and prone to in-fighting. What cannot be denied is that the root cause of the present imbroglio, the homegrown Taliban, were created by the various intelligence agencies during the time of Benazir Bhuttos second government to support the Taliban across the Afghan border. On that score, we have dug ourselves into our own hole and now, at Americas urging, are managing to some extent to dig ourselves out. There may be rightful indignation at the creeping American presence within Pakistan and the perception that it is not the freely and fairly elected democratic government with its ridiculous Cabinet that is in charge, but the Americans on whose bounty we exist. Whilst rightly fretting, the fretters must take into account the deal or arrangement made between, firstly General Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto and the US, the details of which have not been fully revealed, and subsequently, after Benazirs engineered departure from the scene, the arrangement made with our president who is where he is thanks to his American handlers. Just what was it that he has guaranteed? What assurances have been given to the Americans when it comes to their operations within the borders of Pakistan? And what is the deal made with the president who continues to wield the exact same powers are wielded by his predecessor, a military as opposed to a 'democratic, head of state? Why the delay in undoing certain provisions of the 17th constitutional amendment which would shear the president of his un-parliamentary system powers which he may need if he is to fulfil his role in the deal? Are his party-people privy to whatever deal was made? Unlikely would seem to be the answer. The writer is a freelance columnist.