The photograph of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen signing accords during the NATO summit, with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon looking helplessly, gives a clear picture of the state of affairs prevailing in the United Nations. While it still comes handy at the time of calamities like floods and other disasters and does great work for refuges, it is no longer capable of solving any major world issue. In such situations, it is merely a silent, helpless spectator, with its role limited to facilitating the work of major powers and other groups, especially the US. Is it just an oversight that it dropped Kashmir from the list of unresolved issues? One disadvantage of banding together of different countries is that even non-entities like Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who would normally not even be known outside their country, come into spotlight overnight, by becoming a high official of NATO. They suddenly realize their strength and potential and start cracking their whip, much to the annoyance of others. It is really shocking to see Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the US taking over the driving seat, with the United Nations completely sidelined. S.R.H. HASHMI, Karachi, November 22.