PRESIDENT Zardari did the right thing by telling a delegation of US Congressmen that their country would have to mend its policy towards Pakistan in order for the trust deficit to be bridged. For that to be achieved, he told the delegation, which included Senator Claire Conner McCaskill, that the country was between a rock and a hard place as it had suffered losses worth $35 billion in the war on terror and was therefore in need of dire financial and military assistance from the US. But his words carried a tinge of docility.. He failed to mention that the drone attacks were indeed greatly destabilising the country. The US would have to change the way it is dealing with Pakistan, if it hopes to achieve success in the ongoing fight against militancy. But there is little hope that it would. The Obama Administration continues to harp on the tune of do more, drilling it into the ears of everyone here. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Senator Kerry once again observed that Pakistan must make its intention clear whether it is willing to take on the enemies or else the aid money could be held back. This smacks of the arrogance that was once the hallmark of the Bush regime and the stark threat that either we were with them or with the terrorists. This is how the US has been blackmailing us. The promised aid of $7.5 billion earmarked for the next five years remains a pie in the sky. Though the US Ambassador did say that Islamabad would get $80 million by March, there have been others in Washington and the Senate, like John Kerry, who have been categorically asserting that the assistance is inextricably linked to Pakistans performance in the war on terror. So it should be abundantly clear that the US is using the pledged sum as a lever to coerce us into taking dangerous steps. The new round of pressure is intended to force us into launching a fresh operation in North Waziristan. Given this backdrop, isnt it incumbent upon Islamabad to distance itself from the US and its reign of terror? The case of the five American Muslims arrested in Sargodha who were working for the CIA and trying to infiltrate into religious networks should be proceeded without any fear or favour from any quarter. Though the Americans have been raising a hue and cry and have attributed the arrests to the highhandedness of the police in the hope that the suspects would be released, the government must stand its ground. The Americans would have to be told in no uncertain terms that the matter should be left to Pakistan courts judgement.