Over the long downward path since 1947 this nation has evolved into a somewhat schizophrenic state when it comes to admitting the reality of its true place globally, and in particular with its relationship to the USA. Shortly after the countrys birth, we began tapping the US exchequer seeking financial succour to help the country on its way. From then onwards there has been no looking back and though memories are short it cannot be forgotten how the relationship was strengthened and forged by successive leaderships, and how a continuous stream of financial and other aid has trickled in, or at times poured in when the US has felt the need to up the ante. In times of trouble, in which direction has Pakistan turned? During the wars it has fought, when its politics have gone awry as they steadily have done, it has looked to Washington. Without delving too far back into the past which is well known, let us just take the 1990s and the two alternating prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, who sought Ame-rican support when their chairs were endangered - let us remember Kargil and the Sharif dash to Washington on the American Independence Day. Let us also not forget the dependence, which is evidenced in the continued resentment and never failing reminders about how the US dropped Pakistan in its hour of need when the Russians left Afghanistan. The moaning and groaning merely shows up the fact that there was no one else around to replenish the begging bowl, not even the Ummah, not even the other 'friends. This resentment which lingers to this day, sad as it may be, makes it clear that Pakistan needs the US to keep it afloat and fighting. That is not to say that the US does not need Pakistan - it does, and particularly today. But the streak of anti-Americanism thrown up by even those to whom the US is the land with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, those who queue for visas, who send their children to be educated in American universities, persists and it does not help matters - it rather exacerbates the problems thrown up by a strained relationship. One unkind and hard to swallow theory put forth by foreign commentators not truly enamoured by Pakistan is that it is the dependence which provokes the present Pakistani 'hatred of the US, that it is also a form of self-hatred that develops between client states and their paymasters. Pakistan has more or less been bought over the years. A top ranking US cold war and post-cold war ally, many of its bills have been paid without too many questions being asked. Military interventions and nuclear assets have been condoned, but it now seems that to found a trusting and working alliance has become a headache, though the fact is that neither side can afford to ditch the other - at least under the present circumstances. However, it must always be borne in mind that the attitudes struck in public have little to do with those adopted behind closed doors. As if this were not sufficient to the day, we now have a head of state whose recent utterances within his own country have created many more doubts about his suitability to be where he is than were there before he decided to make his thoughts public. We all know why he is where he is and how he came to be there and who put him there and who is keeping him in place. We all know whose bidding he has to do to hang on to his job and we all know he will be with us for only as long as his lord protectors in Washington need him. The point is why unnecessarily antagonise the army and the judiciary, both great powers to contend with. In particular, Asif Zardari should remember General Waheed Kakar and how without causing a ripple he sorted out an untenable situation in July 1993 with the US permission. Let Zardari also remember what he (or someone) wrote under his name in the New York Times of December 09, 2009: In recent days, I have thought often of something my wife, Benazir, wrote in the days before her death: 'It is so much easier to blame others for our problems than to accept responsibility ourselves. Benazir added that conspiracy theories and 'toxic rhetoric were 'an opiate that keeps Muslims angry against external enemies and allows them to pay little attention to the internal causes of intellectual and economic decline. And, in the midst of the NRO imbroglio, what was written in the Wall Street Journal on December 21, 2009: So let the legal process move forward. Those of us who have fought for democracy against dictatorship for decades do not fear justice; we embrace it. My ministers, my party, leaders of other parties and thousands of civil servants across our nation will defend themselves in the courts if necessary. And most pertinently let him recollect his words in The Washington Post of January 15 2010: I am working with Parliament to run a country, not a political campaign. We would never have guessed this if it were not in cold print. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: jilani.amina@gmail.com