While our politicians once again lose themselves in trading barbs on almost any issue they can lay their hands on, and simultaneously try and dupe the people, India continues to further its threatening agenda towards Pakistan even as it suppresses yet another indigenous uprising in Occupied Kashmir. On the political front, suffice it to say that the issue of fake degrees is a simple one of the fraud which is punishable under the Penal Code of Pakistan. It really does not matter when the issue gathered momentum since there is no time bar on punishing fraud but those guilty of having allowed this fraud to continue should also be held guilty - and that would include the Election Commission, as well as Returning Officers. But most important, it is high time those perpetrating fraud were punished under the law and debarred from contesting any future elections. As for the absurd argument that the people continue to vote for their popular leaders even though they are guilty of fraud, this does not hold because if simply electoral popularity was the yardstick on which to punish people for their crimes or let them go scot-free, then murderers would also walk free - and perhaps they do in some cases in this country But there are serious issues now threatening Pakistan and one of them is the Indo-US nexus that is using salami tactics to undermine Pakistan slice by slice. Just examining recent events will reveal this pattern. On the external front, there was this campaign to undermine Pakistans civil nuclear deal with China with India seeking explanations from China while the US was pressuring Pakistan, including demanding that it needed to get approval of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) before the deal could be oper-ationalised, despite the fact that this was not the case since the NSG has no legal standing in international law given that it is a voluntary suppliers cartel. All that Pakistan needs is to get the safeguards agreements signed with the IAEA as in earlier cases, and the IAEA has not expressed any new issue on this count. But the pressure was exerted nonetheless by the US and India to see how far they could put Pakistan on the defensive. Luckily for Pakistan, China came out strongly supporting its agreement with Pakistan and that put paid - at least temporarily - to Indo-US designs on that front. Of course, while the Indian pressure was simply to give Pakistan a pinprick, the US pressure on Pakistan in the contest of its nuclear agreement with China was also linked to pushing Pakistan into altering its principled position on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. So far that has not happened, but as long as the present government remains in power, the possibility of undermining our position in Geneva cannot totally be ruled out, given what happened in the IAEA over the Indian safeguards issue in the context of the Indo-US nuclear deal. It is also interesting that all this pressure against the Sino-Pakistan nuclear cooperation came in the wake of the NSG meeting and also was timed with a story in the US media about how the CIA was trying to access our nuclear establishment. Now why would the CIA go public with such a revelation - and it was clearly a case of the US Establishment planting that story in its media which also dealt with the CIA and ISI playing spy games with each other and so on? Again, to raise suspicions and unease within Pakistan that the US had penetrated its nuclear establishment which would in turn raise doubts on not only the nuclear establishment, but also the military intelligence agencies and even the army itself in the minds of the Pakistani nation. The logic of where that game would lead is not difficult to grasp. Meanwhile, another pressure source was the greater overt news about Indias role in training Afghan security forces and how NATO and the US were determined to ensure this. As for Pakistan, a poor sop was given out that some Afghan security personnel would come to Pakistan for training. This is yet another move in the overall Indo-US game plan to undermine the Pakistani state. But it also sends a clear signal to the Pakistani establishment and political rulers that in the US-NATO grand design India is a critical player in Afghanistan. Yet, the Pakistani decision makers - both civil and military - have refused to take this into account when continuing their increasingly questionable cooperation with the US. At the same time, the US also upped the ante against Pakistan by demanding that its military begin operations in North Waziristan and by having its Congressmen demand that Pakistan take out the Haqqani network. All these moves are calculated to not only put the Pakistani state on the defensive, but also to add to the already prevailing rifts between state and society. And to further this agenda the drone strikes have also been increased and information being leaked out from the US sources stresses that these drone strikes have the blessings and cooperation of the Pakistani rulers - which is certainly true, despite the government and military trying to fool their people into thinking otherwise. As if all these events were not sufficient to close in on Pakistan, the arrival of the first batch of F-16s for the PAF also created their own controversy because while the Pakistani side insisted no preconditions were attached to the purchase of these planes - yes, we have paid for them not received them as aid in the ongoing war we are fighting for the Americans - the US made it clear through its media and official reassurances to India that the planes could never be used against India. As if to symbolise the restrictions these planes came with, the PAF Chief received the delivery at the Jacobabad air base which is presently under US control The latest US hit against Pakistan has been the US statement on Kashmir which reflects the US having adopted the Indian position on this international dispute - since the State Department declared that the killings in Indian Occupied Kashmir were Indias internal matter So while Pakistan is overburdened with the US war on terror, India is being allowed to conduct a campaign of killings in Occupied Kashmir effectively with US blessings. So the Indian security forces are going in for a policy of killing the youth of Kashmir, who are leading the protest for their right to self-determination as promised to them by the UNSC and India itself. To keep Pakistans military suitably detracted, not only has the US forced it to withdraw from the Eastern front to FATA and the Western front with Afghanistan, but India has begun a campaign of periodically and totally without provocation, firing across the Working Boundary at Sialkot. Nor is this the end. The US is also continuing to dictate to Pakistan the form of the new Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA) so that it included land access to Indian goods from Pakistan into Afghanistan and beyond. While we are focusing on the domestic political wrangling, the US is trying to sneak through this new and dangerous ATTA and is pushing the Afghans into adopting an intransigent posture on this issue. The farce of showing that no access will be allowed through Wagah while giving this access through Karachi port, is ridiculous because apart from the cost factor, it still gives India the much sought after land route - and with no quid pro quo, thanks to the US bulldozing of the Pakistan government. Yet we continue to do nothing - not even seeking to use the transit trade as an effective political weapon as India has done periodically with Nepal. The fact of the matter is that even if we just look at these recent events, we can see that there is a larger Indo-US game being played out against Pakistan on multiple fronts but what is disturbing is our rulers silence and inaction. Has the Pakistani state capitulated into accepting Indian hegemony while becoming a US satellite?