During this past week disturbing news about where Pakistan is currently headed have surfaced. The magnitude of mis-governance indulged in by Musharraf and the situation which has brought Zardari into the forefront of power in the "establishment" in the country is now squarely in focus of national and international media. On September 11, after there had been four incursions into the Pakistani territory in five days by US forces from across the borders of Afghanistan into the FATA areas, the COAS announced rather tersely that it was the duty of the armed forces to defend the country and would take appropriate defensive action if such incursions continued. This warning had little effect as on the very next day, the US fired missiles on a private dwelling in Miran Shah killing 12 civilians and demolishing the house. However, on the13th when US drones were again seen coming towards the Pakistani territory, the armed forces sent PAF jets in the air causing a retreat by the US drones. The question that needs to be answered by the government in Islamabad is: did the Americans act unilaterally or was this a part of the agreed upon rules of engagement? The New York Times reported on September 11 that in July this was ordered by President Bush allowing US Special Forces "to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government." In other words, without any prior information being given to Islamabad the US Commanders in Afghanistan could act without notifying the Pakistani government. The innuendo in this report is quite alarming that "the Pakistani government had privately assented to the general concept of limited ground assaults by Special Operations forces against significant militant targets, but that it did not approve each mission." According to the Times, "the Pakistani government is quietly winking at the idea of such attacks." If one believes the Times report then there are startling reality to be faced There could hardly be a worse strategy. It risks inflaming the Pakistani public opinion against the US and boost the religious parties. It clearly makes the new Pakistani government look like puppets in the hands of the US, which hardly makes them popular among Pakistanis. It is equally certain that such ad hoc actions by Washington won't be successful in eliminating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Historians of the Vietnam War might compare the strategy to President Nixon's ill-fated decision to expand the war across the border into Cambodia in search of alleged Viet Cong "sanctuaries." That policy badly failed and didn't work out well. Could it be believed that perhaps some Pakistani officials, under intense US pressure, did "wink" at this idea? From public statements, at least, it appears that Islamabad isn't happy. The larger question if Musharraf had already winked earlier when he had the chance to do so therefore requires an answer? Support for such a treacherous perfidy vis--vis nationalistic feelings in Pakistan are certainly visible. Lt Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz, who served as the chief of general staff (CGS) from Oct 2001 to Dec 2003, reveals in a startling manner that the army as an institution was in complete dark about what was going on between Washington and Islamabad on the War On Terror and the GHQ and top army commanders had strongly opposed the handing over of Pakistanis to the US, but Musharraf did so on his own. General Shahid Aziz confirmed that though the office of the CGS in the GHQ was considered to be the nerve centre in the army, the GHQ did not know most of the controversial things Musharraf did, including the handing over of Pakistani nationals to the Americans. It is, however, established by various accounts and indeed by Musharraf himself in his auto-biography that while the Pak Army used to catch the targeted foreigners and locals and handed them over to the ISI for interrogation, many of them were eventually handed over to the Americans without the knowledge of the army. So it is regrettable that Musharraf as president and the top military commander did all by himself while not bothering to inform anyone about his actions or policies. No wonder many think of him as a complete US puppet in Islamabad. Musharraf, during his rule, had according to the interview, also allowed the US drones to use the Pakistani airspace for intelligence sharing besides permitting the American intelligence agencies - CIA and FBI - to recruit their agents in the tribal belt of Pakistan. General Aziz further disclosed that the drones were permitted by Musharraf to use the country's airspace despite strong opposition from the GHQ. It is with the same drones that presumably the US has carried out most of the strikes inside Pakistan, killing over three hundred civilians including innocent women and children during the past three weeks. Most damning for Musharraf is the assertion by the former CGS that during his tenure, there had been no agreement between the Pakistan army and Washington on mechanics of conducting the War On Terror but Musharraf was directly dealing with the Americans on a ad hoc basis.  General Aziz, who then served as the chairman NAB resigned early last year when asked to close the special NAB cell probing corruption cases against Benazir and Zardari, explained that since the former COAS was also in the government, the army as an institution was not consulted on many things that were being agreed between Islamabad and Washington. While the current COAS has spoken against these attacks to the massive support of the people of Pakistan, most surprisingly Zardari and Gilani have been quietly going along with apparent ease. Asked why President Zardari had not spoken on the issue of the US intrusions into the Pakistani area, Defense Minister Mukhtar said it was not essential that the head of the state should comment on each and every subject. At such a critical juncture of events relating to national security the absence of Zardari, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces to Dubai and then London and New York is thus very perplexing. It is feared that in this context we may see major developments, including a renewed public attacks on Pakistan in the US media after General Kayani's blunt response to Washington's incursions and the simultaneous declaration by Admiral Mike Mullen to operate on both sides of the border. Mukhtar said National Security Adviser Major-General (retd) Durrani had taken up the issue of the US incursions with his American counterpart and the Pentagon and urged them to stop it forthwith. Furthermore he said that the Pakistan Washington Ambassador was working towards a resolution of this serious rupture in Pak-US relations. "We hope and expect a positive outcome," the minister said and referred to a recent statement of PM Gilani in which he had stated that Pakistan could take up the matter of unilateral strikes at the diplomatic level, but could not wage a war. Now a brief comment about the Zardari presidency has to be made. The sudden prospect of Zardari sitting on the most powerful and clearly political position in the country has shaken many keen observers of our politics. There is a greater sense of uncertainty in the political classes than it existed on February 18 - the civil and military establishment - it seems is not sure what is about to happen Zardari had an absolute right to contest for and successfully obtain that coveted position in the country. Yet his credentials are far from impressive. Equally no one can deny that Musharraf's over eight years of misrule, landed the country in the political turmoil that we are facing. During this period political parties and leaders were traumatised and kept on the run in exile, never being allowed to settle down, organise or prepare for taking over the state responsibilities. In this scenario as an individual Zardari was the last person expected to climb the political ladder so fast that within eight months of Bhutto's assassination He is now head of state, master of the nuclear button and supreme commander of the armed forces of Pakistan. So then what should done and how? One school of thought feels that with all due respect to the politicians, it is the prime responsibility of the army to undo the wrongs. Under the pretext of "neutrality" and by protecting their ex-commander, the army cannot fulfil its responsibility unless it can undo the wrongs from which the people continue to struggle to get free. On the other hand, it is maintained by the democrats that even such temporary interference cannot be allowed to the army and the country must undo the wrongs heaped on Pakistan by the rule of law. The clear failure of the civilian set-up presently in control of the country's bureaucratic and official edifice needs to be streamlined. The current set-up has produced a massive failure of accomplishing the goals and tasks that circumstances had created for it by the February elections. It would have been fair for the army after Musharraf had quit, to undoing his perverse and personally motivated decisions so that the politicians had a clean slate to start their new administration responsibilities. That did not happen and now we are left with the prospect of an intricate political situation, with no one having any idea of how to untangle it. One had hoped that the coalition would do so, but it is now established that even withdrawal of Sharif from the incumbency, the remaining PPP leadership has no aim except to go on accumulating power for itself. In the latest example of the politicians failure to speak out for defending the country leaving the responsibility of doing so to the General Kayani is for everyone to see Neutrality when one is called upon to side with justice is itself injustice. I think the time is now ripe for taking accountability of all those who have treacherously sold out the fortunes of this nation to accumulate personal wealth and fortunes. The writer is a barrister-at-law (UK), attorney-at-law (US), senior advocate of the Supreme Court, and professor Harvard University