There were reports in international media recently about General David Petraeus, the new Chairman of International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAFF), having visited Islamabad. The American General called upon Pakistans Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani among other engagements in Pakistani capital. On his visit to the GHQ, General Petraeus was reported to have described Pakistan as an indispensable partner in the NATO-led coalitions war on terror. I find nothing to be cheerful about the US Generals remarks that seem to offer some bit of patronising and little else with expectations of a lot more of the sacrifices we have made already and continue to do so. Pakistan is up to its neck on the deep side of troubled waters and is simply in no position to pull out of the so-called war on terror at this stage without the logical conclusion of elimination of militants from its territory. The irony of our fate is that all of our leaders, military after the civilian ones and civilians after the military ones, have fallen one after the other in the lap of Washington like poodles and pussy cats. Small wonder, then, that people of Pakistan have never regarded USA as their friend or ally in anything. The still-awaited US Sixth Fleet, which was supposed to reach Indian Ocean in 1971 to rescue the erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) from the naval siege of India is, perhaps, old history which need not be mentioned here. But the recent turn down, nay snub down, of Islamabads request for a deal on civil nuclear technology, ala the one made with India, is the latest in a series of, what people of Pakistan regard as, betrayals by their 'major non-NATO ally and friend. In view of the acute-as-death shortage of power at home, Pakistan desperately needed to tap the nuclear power resources. The fact that the US denial was 'prompted by India has hurt our people ever more. The Pakistani rulers, in fact those incharge of a countrys destiny anywherewould and should open up their eyes and see the reality of hollow rhetoric of friendship is, especially on being spurned in so brutal a fashion. But somehow they dont. They should join their masses in saying that United States and its high and mighty officialdom s are not trustworthy, even downright hostile towards Pakistan when push comes to shove to choose between India and Pakistan. But somehow they dont. I say please do not trust the US State and Defence officials. Their statements are mere clichs, their promises ploys to buy time, a wicked gambit of getting Islamabad to do things the way Washington wants these done. It is high time our rulers started differentiating between friends and foes. -BILAL AHMAD KHAN, Lahore, July 14.