A week ago, President Barack Obama spoke at a Ramadan Iftar function in White House on the essential importance of Americas fundamental commitment to religious and individual freedoms. He seemed to be making a visible effort to counter the right-wing challenge to the idea of a mosque at Ground Zero. The American right knows it cannot forbid the construction of any legal place of worship but it can use the hatred caused by destruction of the World Trade Centre to fan religious hatred. Mr Obama was right when he said We must all recognise and respect the sensitivities surrounding development of the Lower Manhattan. The pain and suffering experienced by those who lost loved ones is unimaginable. Having said that, Mr Obama then went on to seek comfort in the 'eternal values of the American dream when he said Let me be clear: I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. That is pretty straight forward but a few days later while on holiday in Florida, Mr Obama has chosen to finesse his position by saying, I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. It seems Mr Obama has been quite influenced in his politics by the Pakistani rulers. They do the same thing. One day, Prime Minister of Pakistan says there will be no official Iftar parties due to floods. The next day, President of Pakistan throws a super Iftar party in Presidency to win the hearts of journalists. -MASHOOQ ALI KHAN, Nowshera, August 17.