"Diplomacy is to do and say The nastiest thing in the nicest way." Isaac Goldberg The Americans are not known for finer elements in diplomacy. Therefore, when Mr Leon Panetta issued a broadside against Pakistan after their intelligence failure in Kabul it came as no surprise to this country. Another top ranking American official John Brennan delivered a stern lecture at Harvard Law School spelling out what was dubbed as the 'Bin Laden Doctrine of American Diplomacy. It is very easy for the US administration to indulge in bluster, trying to bully weaker nations around the world. But when it comes to powerful nations such as Russia or China, the Americans change course and behave quite differently. Even with India the US administration demonstrates quite a bit of tolerance not for any principles but because it stands to gain a few dimes by exploiting the vast Indian market for its own trade. The Americans seem to be caught in a no-win situation because they are not used to receiving 'no for an answer from the government of Pakistan. Lately, both the civilian government and the military of this country have demonstrated their steadfastness and refused to carry out the desires of the US planners who want Pakistan to extend its effort in the ongoing war against terror to its North Waziristan agency. To achieve this purpose, the Americans have been using all the tricks up their sleeve alternating veiled threats with cajoling so that Pakistan falls in line. On their part the Pakistanis feel very strongly that by going into the North Waziristan agency, no strategic interest of Pakistan will be served and, therefore, they have refused to extend the war in that region. The Americans feel so desperate and frustrated that they have abandoned all norms of decency that go with world diplomacy and are now talking of taking unilateral action against their real and perceived enemies in any part of the world. They have been blaming the Haqqani network for being instrumental in causing misery to the NATO forces in Afghanistan. They have accused this country of providing safe havens to the forces loyal to Mr Sirajuddin Haqqani in North Waziristan, but have been snubbed by Sirajuddin who has, in one of his rare interviews, clearly indicated that he was in Afghanistan and all his operations originated from that country. He also emphasised that forces loyal to him did not require any sanctuaries in Pakistan or elsewhere. One wonders whether, after this interview the Americans, who have sophisticated technology available in Afghanistan, have already traced the location of Mr Sirajuddin Haqqani and known that in spite of the claims made by the United States Mr Haqqani was indeed somewhere in Afghanistan. Therefore it is quite strange that US ambassador in Pakistan Cameron Manter claims that the militant group headed by Sirajuddin had some sort of relationship with a federal agency of this country. Reports have also suggested that the Americans are busy trying to collect 'evidence' that would connect the Haqqani network with Pakistan's ISI. For those who do not know why they are attempting to create this relationship, it should be stated that the US administration has always followed the classic English adage, which says, "When you fail, blame somebody else." One wonders at the brazen US attempt to malign this country when the fact of the matter is that the Americans have been trying to talk with elements of the Haqqani network so that they could secure a safe passage for their retreating troops from Afghanistan. Their efforts have so far failed to bear fruit because the group suspects that, in fact, they are trying to create differences between the various groups of fighters who are engaged in expelling the NATO occupation force from Afghanistan. On the other hand the Americans have consistently refused to intervene with India and prevail upon the Afghan government which has allowed its training camps on the Afghan soil for Baloch insurgents who receive funding and arms and ammunition from India. The Americans have also failed to use their clout for the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, thereby restricting the options of this country, which is one of the basic reasons for its refusal to proceed against some militants who could be hiding in the North Waziristan agency. The Americans have also failed to realise that helping Pakistan's economy and providing some military hardware to its forces to combat terrorism is not enough for the sort of relationship that may be required by their policymakers. They are fully aware of the limitations of Pakistan's armed forces keeping in view the threat that exists on its eastern borders. This country cannot lower its guard till the time the issue of Jammu and Kashmir is resolved in a fair manner that is acceptable to the people of Indian-held Kashmir. Therefore, the recent tirade of American administration officials against this country only displays the arrogance and unilateralist bend of mind that is not helping the US move close to its strategic goals in this region. The Americans must understand that to achieve their objectives it is essential to ensure that Pakistan is able to achieve its objectives as well. They are working on a timetable to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan but there are no signs that the present Afghan government is prepared on the ground that would allow the Americans and their NATO allies to pull out according to their plans. It would have been proper if the US administration instead of following an assertive policy of unilateralism had engaged Pakistan and other nations of the region in a productive effort to resolve the serious issues of Afghanistan. A vast majority of the Pakistani people are quite sceptical of the US intentions and are not prepared to trust what the Americans have to tell them. It would be in the interest of both Pakistan and the United States that they move swiftly to remove the misgivings that exist between them. They should first try to understand the priorities of one another. Once these issues have been identified only then an understanding could emerge that could prove conducive to bringing peace and harmony in the war-torn Afghanistan. One hopes that the Americans realise that bilateralism and not unilateralism is the key for success in this troubled region of the world. They should abandon the policy of stick and carrot that has been tested by them for a long period of time without tangible or positive results. They must respect the vital national interests of this country and only then can they expect more cooperation from Pakistan. However if the Americans continue with their present fancy ideas in diplomacy there are very little chances that they will achieve any strategic goal either in Afghanistan or in Pakistan. Therefore the US administration must calculate carefully before they take any policy decisions that may raise more questions and fail to resolve the Afghanistan quagmire in which the Americans find themselves to be in today. n The writer has been associated with various newspapers as editor and columnist. At present, he hosts a political programme on Pakistan Television. Email: zarnatta@hotmail.com