A. R. Jerral We should move openly and vigorously in Chinas direction, and indicate clearly that the so-called economic and military assistance under the Kerry-Lugar Act if cut, curtailed or stopped will not drastically affect Pakistan. Much smaller, militarily weak, and economically underdeveloped countries like Cuba and North Korea have withstood pressures; Pakistan is in a much better condition. Pakistan's former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi became the first high-profile causality of the Raymond Davis case. His fault was that he refused to grant diplomatic immunity to Davis, despite insistence of the US State Department and its Embassy in Pakistan. Unfortunately, this case is now entering into serious political dimensions. The Pak-US relations and alliance in the war on terror is at the lowest. The US has embarked on intimidation and veiled threats. The American media is declaring that Pakistan will be subjected to economic sanctions and possibly embargos. Despite official assurances a hard stance is visible. The first retaliation came in the shape of the cancellation of tripartite strategic talks between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US. This step definitely indicates the diplomatic rift over the Davis affair. Anyhow, it seems that taking the cue from the United States, India has also adopted a tougher course. As reported, India cautions China over Pak ties New Delhi has suddenly developed 'concerns over Chinas relationship with Pakistan. The fact that this concern was described by the Indian Foreign Secretary at New York shows that the statement was sponsored. It is vague, but declares 'genuine concerns. This statement when viewed in the context of the proposed bilateral talks between Pakistan and India foretells serious developments. Reportedly, President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani are 'cognisant of the Pak-US diplomatic standoff. They have started looking for alternatives in case America suspends Pakistans economic assistance to exert pressure on it for Davis release. Nevertheless, his case has become a high-profile legal and diplomatic test for the Pakistani government. Truly, it will determine whether Pakistan is genuinely a sovereign country or its leaders are prone to dictation in running its affairs. Without doubt, the threat of aid suspension worries the government the most. There are divergent views on this aspect, but most of the leaders with nationalistic concerns see no major effect, if the aid is suspended. The US claims to uphold the rule of law and justice, and preaches these qualities to the world. But the way it is behaving in Davis case, justice is not being fulfilled. One gets an uncanny feeling that it does preach and uphold justice, but in USAs perception, it is one-way virtue - the American way. This was how they dealt with the killers, who murdered innocent people in Iraq There they could get away with it, as they were the occupiers. Thus, they have adopted the same stance in Pakistan and the subtle pressure being brought on our nation seems to be working. At the same time, the manner in which the US national is being handled by our police and judiciary should give confidence to the Americans that his case will be dealt with fairly and according to the law. He is not being treated like a criminal charged with murder. On judicial remand, he is housed in special accommodation, furnished with TV, internet and is getting food according to a special menu worked out by the US Consulate at Lahore. There is no evidence that the US treats the prisoners awaiting trial in its lockups in similar manner. The Gitmo prisoners were kept in the harshest environments, as was shown on television. By contrast, Raymond is living in five-star luxury. According to some analysts, there is an obvious effort on the part of the Pakistani establishment to find an amicable way to set Davis free. The manner in which our former Foreign Minister is being maligned shows that after sacking him our Foreign Office is engaged in working out a plan for that purpose. The effort is to solve this problem in a way that will satisfy the relatives of those killed by the American secret operative. The recent statements of our new Information Minister point to this direction In various reports and write-ups, Washington complains that the people in the developing world hate the Americans. The Davis episode and its handling by the US too will act as a catalyst for generating hate for the US establishment. To ascertain why people in the world hate the Americans, they will have to look inwards. A book written in 1958 by William Lederer and titled Ugly American sums up the arrogant American psyche while dealing with others that generates this hate feeling. America is a corporate entity from government down to private environments. A corporate system thrives on competition and in every sphere of life there is cut-throat competition. This corporate psyche is superbly elaborated by an American author Harrods Robbins in his novels. The Americans use this corporate attitude to gain their political and economic objectives everywhere. There is a dichotomy in what they say and do. They uphold the rule of law, but support dictators and despots; they preach justice, but see it one way only and use intimidating tactics to run it that way. This arrogance is visible in all actions where the 'aliens come in contact with them. Indeed, the American public and the establishment have to undergo a crash course to improve their image abroad. All should be made to read the Ugly American to effect a positive change in attitude. Our government needs to understand the environment that the Mozang episode has thrown up. This episode provides Pakistan an opportunity to emerge as a sovereign and self-respecting country. America is embroiled in Afghanistan where it desperately needs the cooperation of Pakistan; that is the reason why the US is keeping the carrot dangling. Their supplies move through Pakistan and they bank on the Pakistan army to mount attacks on the Taliban in Pakistan. Pakistan needs to identify its strength in this cooperation and use it to gain what it desires; economic assistance alone is not the end game. Also, the Pakistani society, establishment and economy have to appear strong, if Washington wants a meaningful relationship in its war on terror. The Raymond Davis affair will demonstrate how strong Pakistan is; USA must help it to project this positive image, this will benefit America too. Meanwhile, there is no indication that the US administration will stop its diplomatic and political pressure. However, Pakistan has the opportunity to generate its own pressure. There is need to initiate a political dialogue with the Pakistani Taliban. That will send the desired signal to the quarters that matter. Pakistan needs to tell the US to withdraw all its undercover operatives, who were given unlimited visas, and even cancel them. We should move openly and vigorously in Chinas direction, and indicate openly that the so-called economic and military assistance under the Kerry-Lugar Act if cut, curtailed or stopped will not drastically affect Pakistan. Much smaller, militarily weak, and economically underdeveloped countries like Cuba and North Korea have withstood pressures; Pakistan is in a much better condition. It must strive for national dignity and honour. It can and will emerge as a more respectable nation by standing firm on its legal and just stand on the Raymond Davis affair. That needs a leadership mindful of national honour and demand. So far, our leadership has not shown that resolve, and appears to be creaking under pressure. They should be mindful of the prevailing political environment in the region; bowing down may unleash a storm that may blow out of control. The writer is a freelance columnist.