AT the start of the Pak-US strategic dialogue, Hillary Clinton and Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to the press. Their statements were disappointing in that there was not only nothing new, there was nothing concrete. Instead, Ms Clinton gave out the usual statements about Pakistans contribution to the war on terror which she claimed had become Pakistans war and how the dreams of the Pakistani and American public are the same, and how the US will try to aid and assist Pakistan and so on. Qureshi, who always undergoes a strange metamorphosis into a publicist for the US Administration whenever he is on US soil, showed continuity in this pattern of behaviour Nevertheless it was a shock to hear him once again praise the Kerry Lugar Act on behalf of the Pakistani people who, according to him, valued the initiative. Clearly Mr Qureshi is neither in touch with the Pakistani people nor with the nations history, given how he talked of the great help the US had given Pakistan in its creation and so on. Not a word about the costs to Pakistan every time we forged a close alliance with the US, including the US turning to India in the early sixties despite the latter refusing to join the free world alliance as Qureshi referred to the US Cold War alliances (which shows how brainwashed he has been by US interpretation of history) The only substantive point made by Qureshi was a little whimpering about access to US markets for Pakistani goods, but that was one of the many critical issues on which Ms Clinton refused to comment, restricting herself to vague generalisations which do not serve our purpose at all. So, the start of the dialogue shows no promise of any major breakthrough for Pakistan vis a vis the US. One can be an optimist and hope that the talks will yield some results this time round but in all probability promises will be made on some issues, including on nuclear cooperation, which will not see fruition - given not only the Obama administrations own proclivities but also the US process which includes Congressional approvals. However, what is distressing is the subservient tone already adopted by Pakistans Foreign Minister that was apparent in his press statement with Ms Clinton. Clinton also declared that things and perceptions cannot alter in a day, but forgot that Pakistan has been in the US-led erroneous war on terror for almost a decade with debilitating results for the nation. So the opening remarks and the Foreign Ministers body language did not convey anything for Pakistan to be optimistic about. While it is too early to pass a comprehensive judgement on the dialogue, the beginning gave little indication that Pakistan will be assertive and restructure which so far has been a client state relationship with the US. But then perhaps one is expecting too much from a government that comprises individuals with many vested interests in the US, to think that they will put the Pakistani people before US interests.