Ever since Pakistan's independence in 1947, Pak-US relations have been revolving in a familiar cycle very similar to a majority of love affairs, starting with infatuation, engagement, estrangement, reconciliation followed by marriage which is often broken and finally resulting in a divorce unless both sides are ready and willing to make some sacrifice to save the relationship. Mutual benefits are the cementing force for successful survival of such relationship between the couple and their respective families. In state relationship, the modern used is strategic partnership between two countries. The track record of the Pak-US relations spread over the past 60 years has been a cycle repeated many times over. After 9/11, a fresh start was made when Pakistan, once again, became an ally of the US in its War On Terror. More than five thousand members of Pakistan armed forces including para-military forces and a much larger number of civilians having lost their lives in the War. However, the US doesn't seem to be satisfied with the performance of its only non-NATO ally. The rest is history. According to a NYT report on September 11, 2008 President Bush secretly approved orders in July 2008 allowing US special forces for the first time to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistan government. Further the report adds that these classified orders reflect US concern about safe havens for Al-Qaeda and Taliban inside Pakistan, as well as an American view that Pakistan lacks the will and ability to combat militants for various reasons. As a result of the above development US air and helicopter borne Special Forces have struck in the tribal area more than once and killed many Pakistani citizens including innocent women and children. The PM and COAS publicly protested in strongest possible words. Both made it clear without mincing their words that Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be defended at all costs. The warning remained unheeded and the US forces struck again. According to some reliable press reports, the Pakistani ground forces opened fire on the intruders upon which they withdrew and beat retreat on their helicopters. No intruder was killed nor any helicopter involved was reported to be damaged. But the message is believed to have been conveyed that no breech of Pak sovereignty would be allowed. Admiral Mullen immediately dashed to Islamabad to avoid any crisis arising out of Pakistan's resolve to retaliate if attacked. In an attempt to defuse the situation Mullen assured the PM and COAS that such sad incidents would not be repeated which, according to Washington, were based on wrong intelligence provided by CIA. Its sounds odd however that within hours of the US top military commanders assurance, US missiles again struck in South Waziristan killing 6 people and injuring many others. This illustrates complete lack of coordination inside the US administration or shall I say, between the state department and the Pentagon. However, in Islamabad PM Gilani has clearly told that Pakistan would make no compromise on its sovereignty. It is pertinent to recall that at the end of Gilani's meeting with Bush, the White House issued a joint statement on Pak-US strategic partnership on July 28 which stated that "the President and Prime Minister reaffirmed their commitment to the long-term strategic partnership between the US and Pakistan - the president affirmed his support for Pakistan's sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity." The assurance given by Bush to Gilani was violated by the ground attack inside Pakistan territory at Angoor Adda September 3. This is not very encouraging for the future of Pak-US relations. The top civilian and military leadership met on September 19 pledging their firm resolve that sovereignty of Pakistan will be up held at all costs, come what. President Zardari addressed in the joint session of Parliament on September 20. This is an historic day for Pakistan in its journey towards parliamentary democracy. It is to be hoped that the combined efforts of the political forces and the new military leadership shall not only overcome the present crisis in Waziristan and the Pak-Afgan border but also work out mutually agreed rules of engagement in the troubled border areas so that they can save the future of their strategic partnership and bend their joint efforts to face the alarming economic challenge facing Pakistan. The writer is the president of the Pakistan National Forum E-mail: ikramullah@nation.com.pk