RICHARD Holbrooke has lived true to form and has once again used an imperial approach towards Pakistan and its political elite on his latest visit here. Over a breakfast meeting with politicians from different parties, he flew into a rage over the attitude of Pakistani politicians who he felt always criticised American politicians. Actually, the Pakistani politicians were simply putting forward the overriding Pakistani perspective on US policies and US discriminatory attitude towards Pakistan in the region. This is a reality for us here, especially with the increasing drone attacks, the refusal of the US to give Pakistan preferential trade access to its markets, the targeting of Pakistani travellers to the US, and the growing Indo-US strategic partnership which includes a dangerous nuclear deal as well as the revelations that India is using Afghanistan to aid and abet terrorism in Pakistan - at a time when that country is effectively under US/NATO occupation. Instead of understanding anything, Mr Holbrooke flew off the handle as he felt Pakistanis were unappreciative of the good that the US has done for their country Perhaps that is because the good in not particularly visible in the Pakistani landscape while the negative fallout of their policies is clear now even to the leadership here. The final barb by Holbrooke was his declaration that Pakistan has a choice to either take US aid or reject it since no one is forcing aid down its throat But Mr Holbrooke again forgot that so far his country still owes Pakistan a vast amount of money for services rendered already in the US-led war on terror. Also, as the leadership has pointed out again, Pakistan is seeking trade not aid; and on that he was categorical that Pakistan would not get any free trade agreement. However, the real issue, apart from the diverging Pakistan-US interests and the rising costs of cooperation with the Americans in their misguided war in this region, is the manner in which Mr Holbrooke treated the political leaders of his host country. The same points could have been made in a civilised manner rather than the rude and clearly imperial manner in which he spoke to our elected representatives. The pity is that the latter chose to listen to his diatribe rather than walk out. It is this same imperial manner which led the US embassy to issue an offensive press release against an editorial in Nawai Waqt on the discriminatory new US screening procedures, on which there has been a consensual condemnation by all political and civil society circles in Pakistan. Even the European Court has declared similar screening procedures of Britain as illegal. Most important, the US embassy has no right to seek to impose their thinking on us - for an editorial is a point of view. They need to realise that no amount of aid can buy a point of view. Clearly, Holbrooke and the US embassy have a lot to learn about how to win friends and influence people. Or, perhaps, in their neo imperial mode, they do not really care.