The two official voices that came out of Washington on Thursday, a day after President Obama used tough words for Islamabad while announcing a phased withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, appeared unanimous in demonstrating that the strains in the Pak-US relationship were getting on the US policymakers nerves. If Secretary of State Clinton warned of the suspension of military aid to Pakistan, in case it did not take certain concrete steps that she did not elaborate but, perhaps, had been specified to officials here by her and Senator John Kerry when they last visited Islamabad soon after the Abbottabad operation; Defence Secretary Gates was dismissive of Pakistans role now that, he and most American officials claim, the militants in Afghanistan are on the back foot. Their views evidently reflected extreme anger, frustration as well as arrogance. Clintons deposition before the Senate, however, clashed with Gates in the sense that she thought Pakistans role was important in routing the terrorist forces. Similarly, General Petraeus, the outgoing commander of US forces in Afghanistan and would-be CIA chief, declared that without Islamabads help victory against the militants was not possible. The growing estrangement should not come as a surprise to those Pakistanis who have an idea about how the US had been cold-shouldering Islamabad once it had served its purpose. Most of the local media and political analysts cautioned the Pakistani leadership against taking the American overtures of abiding friendship too seriously. As the US is withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan and, at the same time, preparing India as a counterweight to China it is obvious that it would find excuses not to fulfil its commitments to Pakistan. But that provides us with a golden opportunity to end our association with the US in the war on terror that has brought so much misery upon us. One would very much wish that in the face of this rebuff our leadership showed sense enough to rely on our own plentiful resources, discarding the crutches of American aid. In this venture we have sincere friends like China and several Muslim and other countries. Beijing, particularly, has always helped us in times of need and extended every type of assistance without attaching any strings. It is time our ruling classes listened to the voice of reason and watched Pakistans national interests which we have criminally neglected in the past. If we keep repeating the mistakes of issuing visas to the operatives of those very spy agencies which have murdered our citizens and spread their intelligence network in the country to serve US interests in disregard of our interests, we would be making a grievous mistake. One hopes that the report that 67 CIA operatives have been issued visas recently turns out to be just a piece of disinformation intended by our enemies to create disaffection and dismay among the people of Pakistan