THE arrest of a high profile Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar by Pakistan is being questioned by certain US quarters in a negative vein and they have levelled the charge that the move is part of Islamabads plan to sabotage the ongoing reconciliation process with the insurgents in Afghanistan. Since Ghani was supposed to be supporting the Karzai Administrations strategy of winning over the Taliban through talks, and since Pakistan was worried at the possibility of the formation of an alliance between the two, so an editorial in the Boston Globe maintains, it nabbed a key man who could have facilitated the process. The idea, it says, was to scuttle the Afghan reconciliation. To all intents and purposes, the Americans are never happy, no matter whatever we do. One day, they are slinging mud on Islamabad for not doing enough in the anti-terror war and when it responds to the call, they chastise it for having ulterior motives. This is inevitable when the relationship between both the countries remains that of master-slave. Given the Yankees particular turn of mind, it would only be unwise to expect them to stop mistrusting us. Islamabad must realise that it would have to stop acting as an errand boy, and form a policy that protects its interests. It is high time we realised that military means in the tribal areas would invite more trouble. The Americans are being badly beaten and, in their confusion, they have resorted to appeasing the Afghan resistance. However, they are not only asking Islamabad to do more, they have paced up the drone attacks as well. Concurrently, they have deliberately held back the aid package despite knowing that under the circumstances Pakistan is in dire need of cash. Enough damage has already been done. To bring normalcy to the region, we have to look for a negotiated settlement of the conflict. Besides, this is a struggle that involves winning over hearts and minds of the tribal population. A political reconciliation process with less extreme insurgents who pledge to respect the writ of the state is the need of the hour.