THE US can be counted on to do almost anything to keep Pakistan under pressure. Once again, while the country was rejoicing in the Supreme Court decision on the NRO, the US showing its disdain rained a barrage of missiles from attacking drones over North Waziristan where the immediate death toll was seventeen people with no figure available for the injured - many of whom may be in a precarious condition. But the real toll is on the Pakistani state and its citizens with the US sending a clear message to them that it will do exactly as it wishes given that the government of Pakistan is not prepared to assert its rights or defend its people against these killer drones. But then the US claims that it has the sanction of the Pakistani state in carrying our these attacks and unless the Pakistan military brings down a drone, most people in Pakistan suspect that on this count at least the US may be telling the truth. Shamelessly, as it kills Pakistanis on their own territory, the US also declares that Pakistan's delay in issuing visas to Americans will hamper the aid giving. Additionally, it has now claimed that all law-breaking Americans in Pakistan are US diplomats - despite facts to the contrary on the ground - and Pakistanis, by enforcing their laws are "harassing" them One has not heard such ludicrous defence of law breakers before but then the US is subtly hinting at blackmail here - allow our citizens unfettered access and total immunity from the law of the land or else aid will get slowed or curtailed. This is surely one of the many costs of being a US ally and "front line" state in a US-led erroneous war. But at the end of the day it is the Pakistani leadership, both political and military, that is to blame. It has failed to protect Pakistan and its people against the machinations of the US and its representatives in Pakistan; it has in fact shown an unwillingness or inability to prevent the Americans from running amok in Pakistan - breaking the laws of the land as they will. After all, what message goes out to them when the authorities force the law enforcement personnel to release the law breakers regardless of their offence? The younger officers, like the ASP in Islamabad, who chased one such lot of US law flouters and made them apologise for their behaviour, instead of being commended has received a stern warning by his superiors and is under surveillance. This is how we teach our law enforcers to deal with VIPs, especially of the foreign variety. And then we wonder why there is corruption and contempt for the law and its enforcers endemic in our wayward society. The Americans are merely exploiting our weaknesses and, like bullies everywhere, taking advantage of a pusillanimous Pakistani leadership.