PRESIDENT Zardari continues to retain a dangerously whimsical style which often undermines Pakistan's positions, upsets old and reliable allies and denigrates the office of the President. His present statements coming from New York bear testimony to this as well as his decision to forgo a very important event in Saudi Arabia for the comparative insignificant Clinton Initiative in new York. In the meeting with Holbrooke, the same "give me more money" mantra was repeated as President Zardari once again pleaded for the early realisation of the Tokyo pledges and the fast reimbursement of the outstanding $1.6 billion of the Coalition Support Fund. The President also asked for the passage of the Biden-Lugar Bill, which is constantly being thrown in Pakistan's face as reflecting the commitment of the US to Pakistan but which still remains to be passed by Congress. The case of the Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) Bill is suffering the same fate. The President also attended the Bill Clinton Initiative launch. However, what the President missed in his hurry to reach his old haunt New York was an important event in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. This was the launch by the Saudi King of a $10 billion new technical university which is intended to act as an incubator for scientific research drawing in the best minds of the Muslim World. Only a few close leaders of Muslim allies of Saudi Arabia were invited and Pakistan was one of them. Unfortunately, President Zardari declined and instead sent Farooq Naek, whereas Muslim leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan and others were all present. Given the close and strategic ties Pakistan has always had with Saudi Arabia, it has been unfortunate that since President Zardari's election as President of Pakistan, relations with Saudi Arabia have not been given the importance that is their due. The age old and dependable relationship with Saudi Arabia threatens to be undermined unless the President is able to cast aside his personal proclivities and see the larger national picture. The meeting with Holbrooke could certainly have been put aside for another day, given the frequency of Holbrooke's visits to Islamabad; or, even more appropriate, our Foreign Minister could have met him given the hierarchy of office. As for the Clinton Initiative, it was certainly nowhere near as important or significant for Pakistan as the Saudi event so perhaps Farooq Naek could have attended it It is time President Zardari went beyond the begging bowl and the US and reaffirmed Pakistan's longstanding ties with our reliable and 'all-weather" friends who historically have always been there for the country when the US has turned the other way, taking the IMF and World Bank with it.