There was a time when USA was a close ally of Pakistan while India rested in the lap of USSR. A change in the world's political scenario has reversed the situation to such an extent that the US is now browbeating Pakistan to please India. It happened mainly on account of the incompetence and mishandling of international relations by our rulers. To get into the good books of USA, the present government is now going out of its way to please the Americans. To defuse the nation's growing anger on US, President Zardari has devised a strange method of buying the Americans. He is dishing out the country's top medals to them like sweet meats. US Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher, was conferred with the honor of Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam. The people of Pakistan badly resented this move but it had no effect on our top brass who repeated the move by awarding the Hilal-i-Pakistan to Joseph Bidden, Vice President elect, "in recognition of his services to Pakistan". He is yet to take charge of his post in US but has become a decorated hero in our country. We thought such honors were reserved for those rendering meritorious service to our nation over a long period of time. Awarding them to the nit-wit of Americans is a matter of shame. -RAFI NASIM, Lahore, via e-mail, January 11.