When Durrani was appointed ambassador to the USA by Musharraf, I had pointed out in this space that he had a role in drawing Zia out from his presidency from which he was not coming out owing to threat perceptions from various agencies. On August 17, 1988, Maj-Gen. Mahmood Durrani was at Bhawalpur and according to the Brig. (retd) Mohammed Yousaf, in charge of Afghan Bureau of ISI during the eighties, Durrani insisted on Zia to grace the occasion, where his presence was not required at all. America doesn't forget its friends. He was rewarded belatedly with the ambassadorship to the US by another pro-US general in 2006. It made sense As for his recent sacking, according to press reports Durrani hadn't even met PM Gilani before he was given the assignment of National Security Advisor. Another report says it all: "Durrani was believed in political circles to be close to the United States, and did not enjoy widespread support within the government and the armed forces". This paper's senior anchorperson said live that Negroponte 'insisted' on Durrani's insertion as the NSA. -ASLAM MINHAS, Karachi, via e-mail, January 13.