A few days back, every Pakistani was shivering with fear. He was asking every other Pakistani: "Does India intend to invade our motherland?" There was no answer. The mystery deepened the people's nervousness. A severe panic engulfed the entire nation. The nervous Pakistanis should have known that America has for years been using Pakistan for capturing Osama in Afghanistan. As circumstances are, America won't allow India to barge into Pakistan. An Indian invasion would be a gross interference in America's hunting venture. Pakistanis should be grateful to Osama for not being captured by America till now. The nervous Pakistanis should dustbin their nervousness and request Osama: "Please Osama, keep on befooling your pursuers." Pakistanis should also know that America doesn't want Pakistan to be extinct. Nor can it tolerate a Pakistan which is economically and politically healthy and vigorous. It wants that Pakistan should keep on breathing like a tuberculosis patient of advanced degree. It means that Pakistan must not be altogether extinct. It must only be half alive and half dead. A politically and economically healthy Pakistan would be an independent Pakistan. And an independent Pakistan would be a thorn in America's thigh. Just look at Pakistan's history. Ever since its birth, it has been moving about in a wheelchair generously donated by America. Only a few countries have been living independently and respectably. Most of the countries are breathing with American permission. And America can cancel the permission any moment it likes. Pakistan belongs to this category. We should be grateful to America for providing us with artificial means of breathing. Politically, Pakistan has always been in an intensive care unit. Unbelievably, even in such a miserable state it has served America like mad. And America has not been ungrateful. It keeps paying Pakistan's medical expenses. This generosity has enabled Pakistan to keep its body and soul together. And this is exactly what America wants. No wonder, America keeps secretly singing: "Long live bed-ridden Pakistan." A mad Pakistani has cried that if a country cannot survive independently and honourably on its own, it must perish. The implication is obvious. The mad Pakistani is really mad. He must know that Pakistan is not mad like him. It is determined to keep on living. And if survival is possible only by serving America, it is worth it. America is a supreme power. To be a lackey of a supreme power is itself a supreme honour. The mad Pakistani should also know that mere survival in the twenty first century is a horrible ordeal. For a poor country survival is far more difficult than it ever was in the past ages. Obviously, the mad Pakistani is born in a wrong age. If what America has been doing to Pakistan is corroding the mad Pakistani's soul, there is a remedy freely available. He may flee Pakistan and settle comfortably in some jungle. Unfortunately, he wants to impose his ethical values upon Pakistan. He must know that Pakistan has its own ethical values. Unfortunately, the common Pakistanis have absolutely no say in the country's affairs. The country has always been run by the uncommon Pakistanis, Pakistan's entire history declares that it was created to be a personal monopoly of the uncommon Pakistanis. One can't help asking: "Why were then the common Pakistanis created?" It is a national secret. The common Pakistanis allege that it is the rulers who play in America's hands. The allegation is baseless. It is the common Pakistanis who elect the rulers through the ballot box. The electors must blame themselves if the rulers play foul. In the West, the common citizens create their servants through the ballot box. But in Pakistan the common Pakistanis create their emperors through the ballot box. The Pakistani ballot box is the real creator of the common Pakistanis' woes. Something must be done about the ballot box on an emergency basis. Here is a suggestion. Why not import ballot boxes from the West? The rulers have always tried to convince the masses that Pakistan is not America's menial. Our relationship with America is a friendly relationship on an equal footing. Imagine a rabbit claiming friendship with a hawk on an equal footing. The day Osama is captured (if he is captured) that day will be the death day of Pak-American 'friendship'. Obama has declared that he will continue Bush's Osama-capturing mission. It must be a pleasant news for the rulers. So long as the mission continues, our 'friendship' with America will continue. Thus our 'friendship' with America is actually a gift to us from Osama. The writer is an academic