Diplomacy is to do and to say the nastiest thing in the nicest way. Isaac Goldberg Never before has any government faced so many challenges, as the present coalition government in Pakistan. These problems vary from economic woes to those related with security. Although there are many issues for which the government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani can only blame itself, yet there are certain issues that seem to be beyond its control. Therefore, when the Americans in a unilateral action killed Osama bin Laden, they simultaneously achieved two purposes: First to shore up the sagging popularity of their government due to the Obama administrations poor policies, and second to alienate Pakistans army and ISI from their people. It seems that the Americans have indeed achieved their objectives in the short-term; however, they must remember that there are several options still available with the Pakistani government and if used properly could force them (Americans) on their back foot. The people of Pakistan have vociferously condemned USAs action of deceiving their country and then pinning the blame on their security agencies for it, without realising the sacrifices made by the Pak Army that has been fighting a long and dreadful war on terror since the past nine years. In addition, by and large, all political leaders reacted in the correct perspective, except some of them because their actions fell short of the unity that should have been displayed in the face of the present American arrogance. A noteworthy departure from their previous conduct was the decision of the MQM that proposed an awami referendum on the issue that will not only benefit the party by increasing its political support in Punjab, but will also create an image that it believes in democratic norms on vital issue. Likewise another mainstream party, the PML-N, has also rightly demanded a parliamentary oversight to look into all aspects related to Osamas death and the American posture after it. However, its demand for a Judicial Commission seems to be premature and thus did not receive the support from the other political elements in the country. Anyway, for quite some time the Americans have been trying to weaken the ISIs resolve to protect Pakistan, whom they consider to be a stumbling block in CIAs way to take action with complete freedom in the country. In this context, it is important to analyse the period when DG ISI General Shuja Pasha had proceeded to America to argue Pakistans case against Washingtons hegemonistic decision to continue the drone strikes in the tribal areas without taking the concerned authorities on board; an attack during that period killed 40 innocent civilians. Since then the US administration has been behaving in an outrageous manner, and some congressmen have demanded to stop US assistance to Pakistan, besides demanding answers for certain actions that actually need to be answered by their own administration. Washington has also failed to respond to the growing scepticism that Osama was killed and not captured because he could have made damning revelations, which could have put the Obama administration in the dock before the American people. There is the threat by some congressmen that unless Islamabad provided answers to the questions raised by them, it could lead to profound consequences for Pakistan. But before this, it would be appropriate if the regime in Washington would explain under which international law it violated the territorial sovereignty of an independent country. Also, according to media reports, the US President can authorise his troops to 'protect sites where Pakistan is keeping its nuclear weapons. This authorisation surely means that the US has been unable to digest the fact that a Muslim country has actually entered the worlds nuclear club. Previously, it was considered that only diehard anti-American Pakistanis suspected USAs designs in the region. But it seems that the present scenario has changed this perception, and unless the superpower stops violating the international laws and upholds Pakistans territorial integrity, it will be extremely difficult for any government in Islamabad to have a sustainable and productive relationship with the US. Nevertheless, the present fancy moves being made by the Americans are not only short-sighted, but can also create serious problems for Pakistan and the Western world. Pakistan is fully aware of the US designs and the nation of over 170 million people is united against any move that would hurt its vital national interest. Already American outbursts have encouraged certain merchants of doom in India, who are propagating a surgical strike against Pakistan. In case, the Indians make a move it will be due to a miscalculation because of American duplicity in this region. Thus, New Delhi has been warned by Islamabad that any adventurism on its border by the Indian forces will lead to a massive response by the Pakistani military, which will result in catastrophic consequences for the poverty-stricken people of the two countries. It is, therefore, expected that the US administration will calculate the long-term consequences for Pakistani and the American people, instead of pursuing a policy that rides on arrogance. Perhaps, this is why there is a clear division among the ranks of the US government, as some of them believe that in case the US takes action against Pakistan, the coming months and years could unravel consequences that will become even unbearable for a country like America. Moreover, while it may take some time before it is business as usual, it is the responsibility of the political leadership in both the countries to move cautiously and try to understand each others point of view in a correct perspective. The Americans, who are responsible for the deterioration of the Pak-US relations, will have to bear more responsibility to 'repair the damage immediately, because in case the process takes a long time it will only benefit the extremists. Both Pakistan and the US will then be on the receiving end - a situation that is not in the interest of any of the two states. n The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: zarnatta@hotmail.com