AS expected, Senator John Kerry has been going around in Islamabad meeting Pakistani leadership to assure them that the infamous Act, which carries his name, is not bad at all and in no way deserves the kind of adverse criticism that it has been receiving from virtually the entire socio-political spectrum of the countrys life. Even the army, which is not supposed to express its views openly and only registers its reservations with the political bosses, has gone public with the observation that certain of its stipulations were not acceptable to it. In this backdrop one wonders whether Mr Kerrys essay in taking the trip to Islamabad has really paid off. Hardly No one except those who were already in tame acceptance of the Act (like President Zardari and some of his team) have offered thanks to him for supporting democracy (through this legislation), as if democracy could be sustained by outside forces without the ruling leadership taking any step to strengthen the institutions, which constitute its bedrock. One might ask why Parliament, opposition and the public, whose opinion serves as valuable input to official policies in a democratic order, were not taken into confidence while the KLB was in the process of formulation and negotiation, and even afterwards Parliament was given short shrift. However, PML-N leader Mian Nawaz Sharif voiced his concern to Senator Kerry over KLAs conditionalities, though the point that his party should still be reviewing the explanatory statement is not comprehensible. The objectionable clauses have been discussed threadbare and its implications are no longer hidden. And it is quite obvious that the explanatory statement could not dilute the Act, notwithstanding what its apologists might say. The KLA has now become an Act of Congress. In the eyes of the law, which only matters when it comes to the crunch, the explanation does not dilute the constrictive nature of its conditionalities. It is not only our foreign policy but also internal affairs of crucial importance that have come under their grip. Mr Kerrys view that the language of the KLA cannot be changed at this stage is hardly plausible. What he actually was trying to convey was that the US administration was not willing to amend it; the truth is that if it really wanted it could persuade the Congress to remove those clauses even now. If Pakistan is in dire straits economically and needs help, the US cannot expect to win its life-and-death struggle against terrorism without Pakistans support. Our leadership must grasp this point and exploit it to the fullest advantage of the country. Senator Kerry must not go back with the impression that he has been able to win us over. The US should know that it has lost many more friends in the process of inflicting this iniquitous law.