The Zardari-Obama meeting on Friday, though not a substitute for formal bilateral talks scheduled to take place later this year, lasted, reportedly, 45 minutes. While the presence of top US security officials at the meeting suggest that the talks were focused on the issues of fighting terrorism and bringing stability to Afghanistan, Ambassador Haqqani maintained that the two leaders discussion covered a wide spectrum of US-Pakistan relations. According to his briefing to the press, the most significant point that emerges was, perhaps, President Zardaris stress on Islamabads keenness to stand on its feet economically and not the desire to secure any fresh aid package. Translated in simpler, stark terms, it meant access for Pakistani products to the American market. That demand, dating back to the early post-9/11 days, has, however, invariably suffered a negative fate in the ultimate analysis, though the US interlocutors have, as invariably, been promising to give it their special consideration. Whether the joint assurance given by President Obama and Secretary Clinton that the US would come up, within the next few days, with new ways of helping Pakistan out of the crisis, would take into the question of free market access cannot be predicted at this stage. The fact remains, though, that market access would be the quickest possible channel of rejuvenating the tottering economy of the country. While for Pakistan it would constitute a real, big boost, free access would make little impact on the over-all imports of the US. In other words, the quantum of Pakistans exports to the US would depend upon its capacity to produce goods that the American market finds acceptable, and thus it would not perceptibly disturb the percentage of the total US imports worldwide that falls into Pakistans share. The economy, no doubt, is important, but apart from that, one had expected Mr Zardari to raise Pakistans other concerns as well. As significant and vital was the adamantine attitude of India, which refuses even to discuss disputes, including the core issue of Kashmir, with us, let alone settle them. Mr Obama should have been asked to exercise his clout with New Delhi in this regard. Similarly, the humanitarian cause of Dr Afia Siddiqui merited a call for setting her free and return to Pakistan. The summons for court appearance of our ISI chief and Hafiz Saeed of Jamaat ul Dawa are an attempt at whittling down the countrys sovereignty, and Mr Zardari should have underscored the point. The most striking experience of our relations with the US over the years has been bad, to use a mild term. And Washingtons present attitude, for all oral assurances, does not point to any change for the better. It is time to get out of our association in the war on terror that has spelled ruin for the country, hardly not touching any aspect of life.