Constant howling and shouting at us by both the military and civilian US leaders is now giving way to a sort of civilised statements from the same mouths which has not come about through an inherent nobility in them that has now come to the surface but because of our strong reaction which was not confined to verbal statements of anger and disgust as has been the case before, and some practical measures taken to express the extent of our anger and disgust. All along, they have been taking us for granted simply because we, especially the civilian government, let them take charge of us. The instant issuance of 400 visas and easy letting off of Raymond Davis, for which our foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi became a casualty, only reinforced US arrogance in the sure knowledge that they could get away with murder. The deliberate and brutal killing of our 24 soldiers well inside our border was just another manifestation of this mentality but this time, they went a step too far. However, now that the Americans are showing willingness to come to terms with us, though not entirely through goodness of their heart of course, we should not be in too much of a hurry to rush into a warm embrace with them and instead should work out a sensible and practical agreement with them, in writing, detailing all clauses that normally cause a rift between the two. Of course, we do not want to get onto a collision course with the United States, or with any other country for that matter, but neither do we want to proceed on a course of self-destruction and ruination which blind following of US commands would lead us to. While cross-border overt and covert activities need to be stopped, fencing and or mining of the Pak-Afghan border, with suitable cross-over points, as suggested by Pervez Musharafs regime, should also be agreed and commenced. After all, the biggest US complaint is of people from our territory allegedly crossing the border and launching attacks on US and allied soldiers as well as on Afghan civilians. There is absolutely no reason for US, its allies and Afghan government not to agree to this practical and sensible proposal which is financially and technically feasible and will remove a permanent irritant between the parties. S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, December 14.