The US media has offered all kinds of comments about President Asif Ali Zardari. There is divergence of views at the official and media levels .The US administration officially has so far not been critical of Zardari's handling of war against terrorism or his efforts to dig roots of democracy in Pakistan. Some scepticism has, however, been expressed through leaked stories quoting unnamed official sources. The Bush administration which has been expressing concern in the past that Pakistan was not doing enough to fight the militants, has said that they were confident that Mr Zardari's government would continue or even increase its counterterrorism campaign, despite the threat of continuing attacks by extremists. The American government says that it is trying to extend every possible help to Zardari government to strengthen democracy in Pakistan and make it a strong ally in the war against terrorism. During his visit to USA, President Asif Ali Zardari met with representatives of a group of donor countries, including the United States and Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to mobilise $5 billion to prevent Pakistan from defaulting on its debts. But no firm commitments were made in this meeting. The US is having its own financial 9/11, banking sector in crises, jobs are dwindling, stocks are unstable, houses foreclosures are on the rise and economy is moving towards recession. No body knows when there would be a turn around. These are not encouraging signs for Zardari to get urgently any money from the US to bail out Pakistan from its economic mess. To compound Pakistan's difficulties is the failure of Saudi Arabia, a traditional benefactor, to defer payment for the 100,000 barrels of oil Pakistan imports daily. But there is a realisation that Pakistan as a defaulter is not in the interest of the USA and the West because it is a frontline state against the war on terrorism. As an inheritor of the power sharing deal brokered by the US between Benazir Bhutto and General Musharraf, Zardari is generally treated here by the administration and the media with sentiments of patronage. Converging point of different opinions about Zardari is that he is a flawed leader, with not much political experience and a history tainted by charges of corruption. "But (in spite of that as an elected president) he deserves a chance, and American support, to fulfil his promises to bolster democracy, clean up Pakistan's intelligence services and work with the United States to defeat terrorism," said an editorial of the largest newspaper. However, stories like Pakistan's faith in its new leader is shaken continue to appear from time to time. Publicly conflicting statements by the two countries have surfaced over the conduct of the war against terrorism and excursions by drones into the Pakistani territory. The most recent incident was the exchange of fire between the forces of Pakistan and the US. While Admiral Michael Mullen confirmed that the two sides engaged in a brief firefight in the last week of September but Asif Zardari on September 26 denied exchange of fire along the Pak-Afghan border. He has played down such incidents calling as inadvertent intrusion into our territory by the US drones. Despite Zardari's attempt to low key reaction, Pakistan's military threatened to shoot American troops if they launch another raid into Pakistan. Whether the threat is real or meant solely for domestic consumption, there is a real danger of miscalculation that would be catastrophic for both countries, said an editorial of an American newspaper. Meanwhile the US newspapers on October 9 reported that a draft report by American intelligence agencies concluded that Afghanistan is in a "downward spiral" and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in Taliban's influence there. The classified report finds that the breakdown in central authority in Afghanistan has been accelerated by rampant corruption within the government of President Hamid Karzai and by an increase in violence by the militants who have launched increasingly sophisticated attacks from the "havens" in Pakistan. This is the first NIE assessment on Afghanistan after Iraq and American officials said that the intelligence agencies were also working to produce an assessment on Pakistan. A piece published by YaleGlobal Online says that the US shotgun marriage with Pakistan, arranged after the 9/11 attacks in order to launch the US War On Terror, has begun to fall apart, and in the process endangers the very state of Pakistan. The US detoured to Iraq and relied on Pakistan's military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf as an ally to manage the region. He's gone and during the long period of US neglect, both Afghanistan, original home of Al-Qaeda terrorists, and Pakistan deteriorated...Ironically enough, Pakistan has done more than Afghanistan, NATO, ISAF and USA in destroying the sanctuaries of terrorists and arresting most of them in this war. Pakistan has sacrificed the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children along side the security officials and army troops and officers. At the same time, Pakistan is providing the logistic support to ISAF, NATO and USA etc. In fact the future of international War On Terror is very bleak if only Pakistan stops playing its vital and most significant role. Unlike the past Pakistan's ambassador, with media background, is more active than his predecessor. Ambassador Haqqani hardly misses any opportunity to engage with the media. According to the Washington Diplomat which published Ambassador Haqqani's interview, the US-Pakistani ties have taken a dramatic turn for the worse since he was appointed as ambassador at the end of May. The resignation of Musharraf, an ally in Bush's war on terrorism, and the installation of a democratically elected civilian government have shifted the fundamental dynamics of the relations. Frequent incursions by US aircraft into Pakistani airspace - and ground attacks against Taliban targets in South Waziristan, have infuriated Pakistanis and fanned the flames of anti-American sentiment across the nation. But Haqqani, played down the mounting divisions between the two countries, attempting to put a positive spin on overall bilateral relations. He said, "No Pakistani wants foreign troops on Pakistani soil. And the people who understand that region know it is not in America's advantage to land troops in Pakistan."  Putting blame on the media for negative stories, he said, "In fact the state of US-Pakistan relations is much better than it looks in the pages of some newspapers because the papers only focus on events, not the overall process. Our two countries are working out ways of making the war against terror a more effective war, in which the leading role will be played by Pakistan and Afghanistan."   If United States wants President Zardari to succeed in the war against terrorism and bring a turn around in Pakistan's economy, the US intelligence outfits must take the following facts into consideration while making first ever estimates about Pakistan: "    Officially Pakistan's role in the war against terror is recognised by USA and the West but the allegations and phrases like "Pakistan is not doing enough", continue to surface both officially and through under hand stories in the media. This trend if continue unabated, the main objective of riding the region of extremists and terrorists is bound to fail. "    It can only be won by close cooperation in an atmosphere of trusting important ally like Pakistan and providing with it latest tools of war and funds to save its economy from collapse. Zardari has said that Pakistan would not go bankrupt. "Pakistan is not going bankrupt. It is not a limited company that will go bankrupt. We are negotiating with the international community to address the situation." But his statement that his government is in touch with friends for helping Pakistan does underline the existence of bleak economic condition. "    Pakistan is suffering more than any other country by the day-in and day-out strikes by suicide bombers who are roaming in every part of the country with impunity. Surely this war cannot reach its logical conclusion by Pakistan with tethering economy. Innocent civilians and soldiers are being killed in Pakistan in too frequent attacks by the US forces and ongoing operations in tribal areas. The army is doing to its limits and that too against the wishes of the people who are still not convinced that it's Pakistan's war. This situation off course calls for a review of the strategy. The brute use of force has far failed to get victory against the terrorists. According to Zardari the world is losing the war against terrorism. It is, therefore, imperative that new venues other than the use of military have to be explored. Any new approach to the solution has to be found in the region in the light of ground realities. The writer is a political analyst and former diplomat