One of the most formidable authorities on South Asian affairs, and author of several critically renowned books on Pakistan and the region, Dr Stephen Cohen, has called upon the US to reorient its policies and give due important to Pakistan for the sake of preserving its own interests. In this context, he advocates the conclusion of a civilian nuclear deal with Pakistan, on the lines settled with India. And at the same time, the US should encourage the two countries to take the reality of nuclear deterrence into account and work for a stable nuclear regime, ultimately to abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In his latest book, “Shooting for a Century: The India-Pakistan Conundrum”, Dr Cohen has a word of counsel for the US: the normalisation of relations between Islamabad and New Delhi “is more important (for the US) than Afghanistan’s stabilisation or building India up as a barrier to an expanding China”. Cognizant of the situation in the subcontinent, he points to the age-old Kashmir dispute and suggests its resolution before the two states could move forward and achieve the intended cooperation. Any analysis of the current regional scenario and advocacy of improved Pak-India ties would not have been complete without underlining the need for removal of Pakistan’s reservations over India’s role in Afghanistan. Thus, Dr Cohen’s book asks Washington to take steps to satisfy Islamabad on this count.The US-India civilian nuclear agreement came as a great disappointment to Islamabad, which had relied on its title of “key ally” to materialize as something more substantial than periodical, grudging acknowledgement, of sacrifices made by Pakistani troops and ordinary civilians, in the war on terror. Besides, with one stroke, the deal further tilted the balance of power in the subcontinent, already in favour of India, putting pressure on Pakistan to divert its development funds to the defence of the country. Islamabad’s repeated pleas to strike a similar deal with it, especially in the face of the country’s crippling energy crisis, were summarily turned down. The feeling in Pakistan’s political circles was that the US should have preconditioned the grant of such an extraordinary favour to India on the resolution of the core issue of Kashmir in a fair and just manner, if it really wanted the two countries to live in peace and harmony. Dr Cohen has put his finger on this main issue that keeps the two apart. It is time for the policymakers in Washington to pay heed to Dr Cohen’s sane advice, which holds the key to its interests in the region. A stable and prosperous South Asia in the long run, is in the interest of Pakistan, India and the US, all three. This cannot happen without the case of Kashmir being resolved to the satisfaction of the people of Kashmir.