At a time when the monster of US unilateralism is being rapidly cut down to size, the servile attitude of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his recent visit to the erstwhile sole superpower is hard to understand. As Russia and China brace up to actively resist the US-led imperial machine, Pakistan is poised to play a decisive role in shaping the future of our region. We could take it towards peace and prosperity. But to do that we must lose our chains first.

The world changed the day Russia and China forced the power-drunk US to back off from attacking Syria. The division in the UN Security Council, the refusal of the British parliament to go along with the plan and the opposition of the American public to another military adventure is all very well, but it would be naïve to think that the eager war machine commandeered by the blood-thirsty Nobel peace prize winner Obama could have been deterred by such civilised considerations.

After all, years of meticulous planning, including the funding, training, arming and unleashing of militants on Syrian citizens, had gone into the regime-change project. After all, a hypocritical red line had been defined with the very purpose of bringing things to a boil by ensuring that it was crossed. All that violent foreplay couldn’t be allowed to go to waste by not claiming the coveted prize. Despite opposition at home and abroad, Obama was all set to intervene militarily in yet another country on the pretext of averting a humanitarian disaster that it had created. What eventually reined in the raging bull were the Russian and Chinese warships sent to the intended theatre of war.

This was a clear signal that the two powerful countries would no longer watch from the sidelines as the US and its allies used their military might and trickery to advance their imperial ambition; sowing chaos in targeted countries, inventing excuses to rain death and destruction on them under the flag of peace and democracy, and replacing regimes resisting their hegemony with pliant stooges. For a change, it wasn’t some small or poor country that had stood up to the bully but two powerful ones. The bully lost many teeth in the scuffle and the myth of its invincibility was finally broken. The deal on Syria’s chemical weapons was but a face-saving measure that the global bully had to settle for eventually, nursing a bleeding nose.

The US is bleeding internally as well. Corporate greed and its stranglehold on policies have created disaffection among large sections of the population. The number of unemployed and homeless people is growing. Detroit has gone bankrupt. The dollar-based predatory capitalism controlled by big banks is coming unhinged. Serious American commentators are worried that the land of liberty is turning into a fascistic police state complete with the surveillance of citizens and the ruthless persecution of whistleblowers and activists of all hues. The double standards of US foreign policy are being questioned and conscientious American citizens are speaking up against drones, torture, military interventions and other war crimes committed by the US government as a routine. Its European allies are not happy that they’d been spied upon.

So why does our leadership insist on bowing to the broken US idol? The eagerness of our leadership to go along with its violent designs for our region and to facilitate its plans for retaining a foothold and influence in Afghanistan after 2014 is against our national interest. There is more than enough evidence to suggest that the US is neither a friend nor an ally, and its earlier involvement in and present occupation of Afghanistan has led to an increase in militancy and instability in the entire region. In fact, even a cursory look at its imperial legacy all over the world is enough to decipher the deceptive game it is playing with us, spreading violence and instability in the name of fighting terror. And the only way we could save ourselves from its two-faced chicanery is to work with Russia, China and Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours to bring a complete end to its occupation of Afghanistan.

The reasons for China and Russia to say ‘no more’ to the self-proclaimed world policeman and its hypocritical monopoly on international morality might not be altruistic, but it does open up opportunities for Pakistan to break free from the deathly US embrace. In this competition between big players for markets and influence in the world, Pakistan’s position is pivotal in the region and we would be foolish to go along with the US that is waging an undeclared war on Pakistan. It is obvious except to those who’d like to keep their heads buried in sand.

Recent conflicts in Libya, Syria and northern Africa have blown the lid off the war-on-terror charade. The US and its allies have been caught in bed with the same militants that they claim to be fighting. Linkages of these terrorist outfits with Middle Eastern proxies of the US are no longer a secret. Together they have created a whole army of mercenaries that are unleashed on peaceful societies wherever required. These terrorists are armed with latest weaponry and a rabid sectarian interpretation of Islam that justifies the use of barbaric violence against all other Muslims and minorities. The terrorist outfits in Pakistan are a part of this machine. While our own security establishment might have had links with some of these groups in the past, the terrorists have clearly been bought over by the higher bidder.

The cultivation of Baloch insurgents by the US and EU, the sectarian terror unleashed in Gilgit-Baltistan, the tension along the LOC and Pak-India border, the calculated and persistent portrayal of Pakistan as a barbaric society where the minorities and women are not safe, the smuggling of sophisticated weapons into Karachi using Nato containers, Blackwater and Shakil Afridi, Salala and Malala- the list could go on and on. These are not random developments. Years of intelligence and military cooperation with the imperial machine have only exacerbated our troubles. It is time to work together with Russia and China on counter-terrorism and security instead.

The writer is a freelance columnist.