Reading your editorial of August 11 Who is on the run? I could not help saying My feelings exactly except that even while on the run, the Americans have no intention of loosening their grip on the region completely and will love to dismember and defang nuclear Pakistan After all, they have built huge underground bases in Afghanistan not for the subsequent use and convenience of Afghans. The next phase of their war, for which they have announced that the focus is on Pakistan, will not be soldier-intensive but will fall more in the category of 'irregular wars about which Robert Gates gave a presentation towards the end of George Bushs rule. Apart from operations launched from bases in Afghanistan, this war against Pakistan will be fought by US agents coming to Pakistan in the guise of embassy and other staff, trainers and 'experts, who will spread all over Pakistan, ostensibly for administering, controlling and dispensing US aid but their real work will be to establish their subversive networks in Pakistan, recruiting local people as well to implement their plans. Munter just talked about the need for more staff to administer aid which the US is dying to give us. Since this sort of war will not result in large number of body-bags reaching the US and will be a relatively low-cost affair, there will not be much opposition to it back home. According to reports in US papers, these were Americans who stirred things up in Libya and Hillary Clinton has already been to Syria, where she met the opposition. In Pakistan, the US Ambassador and other higher ups have become hyper-active and are traveling all over Pakistan, even visiting sensitive regions like Balochistan, offering help and trying to develop 'connections for subsequent use. US ambassador Cameron Munter is complaining that despite permission having been given a year back for Quetta consulate, there is no progress on the issue. He also said that international companies should be allowed to prospect for oil and gas in Balochistan which gives a clear indication of US interests. It is just as well that our officials and lawmakers are advocating severe restrictions on the movement of Americans. It is quite satisfying that our government has developed a suitable level of nuclear deterrent against external threats but while concentrating on that, we should not leave the country wide open to threats from within posed by Americans and other enemies. In Iraq, Shias and Sunnis had been living together in peace but we saw what animosity the Americans managed to create between the two sects. With so many divisions already existing in Pakistan, the Americans have a fertile field here which they will exploit to the maximum if given even half a chance. For the security and integrity of our country, we have got to be very firm with Americans instead of allowing them to try to sort of buy off our people by throwing dollars here and there. Despite our sacrifices, the American officials high and low never miss a chance to hurt and embarrass us, even accuse us of double-dealing and deceit, hold back economic aid, reimbursement of coalition support fund and display extreme meanness by stopping even essential supplies like body-armour and night-vision goggles for soldiers and helicopter spare parts. We should remember that the US embassy and consulate staff in Pakistan are the same breed as their compatriots back home so we should not be taken in by their outward courtesy and offers of help. S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, August 12.