"All hope abandons, ye who enter here." - Dante The US seems to be caught in a web of lies it had constructed for this region. It is desperate to get out of Afghanistan and is, at the same time, trying to evolve a strategy for a face saving exit. The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, is not a crafty diplomat like some of the officials in the State Department. Mr Mullen has, therefore, issued statements that not only contradict each other, but also send confusing signals all around. While talking to Times Now in India, Admiral Mullen said that if ever there was a conflict between India and China that also involved Pakistan, the US would support India. However on his visit to Pakistan, the US commander appreciated the efforts of the Pakistani government and its military in the war against terror. Yet in the same breath, the Admiral maintained that although he had come to Pakistan for the 19th time still there was an element in the ISI that he had failed to understand. Mr Mullen, like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, predicted that if another Mumbai style terrorist attack was mounted on India, it could have serious consequences for Pakistan. That means that the Indian or USAs secret agencies could manage such an attack and then blame Pakistan for it, just as it was done when Samjhota Express was attacked with Indian connivance. Certainly, it is not difficult to recruit and train mer-cenaries who do some mischief on the command of secret agencies and then pin the blame on Pakistan. Although it may seem a far-fetched idea for some, yet when countries play dirty games any-thing is possible and it would be foolish to rule out such a scenario. The Americans, who once had cosy relations with both the Haqqani network and the Laskar-i-Taiba (LeT), are now wary of both these outfits. They want Pakistan to expand its military operation to North Waziristan and also go whole hog after LeT. But as the Pakistanis are already stretched to the maximum at present and it may not be possible for the army to expand its military operations. The US is using every tactic it possesses to virtually force Pakistan into a situation that suits the interest of both New Delhi and Washington. Further, Mullen says that negotiations in Afghanistan will commence only when the US has achieved its objectives that allow it to dictate from a position of strength. Then the US, despite being aware about the situation in Kashmir and the expanding acts of subversion in Balochistan due to Indian involvement, is not prepared to play any well defined role that is within their sphere of influence. The Obama administration must recognise the fact that attempts to destabilise the government in Pakistan will not help anyone. No government worth its name can afford to barter the vital national interests of the country. Moreover, if the US administration is serious about having a stable Afghanistan then they must demonstrate it with their actions. They must also improve their relations with Iran. Besides this, they must nudge India to do more to restore normal relations with Pakistan. The first indication should come from the Indian side, as it must stop meddling in Balochistan. Better still, Washington undertakes some bold new initiatives that result in the resolving of the sore water dispute between Pakistan and India. Finally, if the war against terrorism is to be won by the international community then it must play a positive and constructive role which leads to a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir issue. Otherwise, the menace of terrorism will not easily go away; however, conversely, it could lead to a major con-flict with a real prospect of the entire world being sucked into that disastrous confrontation. At present, the US is not willing to help Pakistan stabilise its economy that has suffered losses of more than $43 billion on account of the war on terror. In addition, Pakistans request for weapons that are essential to combat with the growing insurgency over the vast tracts of mountainous land have largely remained unfulfilled by the US policy-makers. Hence, it is time the US stopped playing double game and come out straight with its so-called non-NATO ally - Pakistan. The Obama administration must remember that by appeasing the Indian government, they will not be able to achieve their objectives in Afghanistan, what to talk of this country. The US needs to understand that deeds speak louder than words and if Washington continues with its present policy of too little too late, it will only harvest grief at the end of the day. It should indeed contain the role of the Indians to only reconstruction in Afghanistan, besides closing the training camps that are being managed by the Indian security officials in the war torn country. The US must also sever the links of Indias intelligence agency, RAW, with the Afghan drug warlords because it is an equally serious menace for the peace and stability of Afghanistan. It could, therefore, be safely presumed that in case the Americans cha-nged course in their present policy for this region, better results can be expected to emerge that will in turn benefit the entire region. In case the present policy of double talk continues no fruitful results will come out of the present mess. Nevertheless, it is in the interest of the American people that they get out of the quagmire they are in and that can only be done if their leadership pursues an even-handed policy in the region. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it must try to restore the trust of all the stakeholders in the Afghan imbroglio. Everyone must aspire to protect the vital interests of the people of Afghanistan; otherwise the prospect of an everlasting peace in the region will only be a dream and nothing more. The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: zarnatta@hotmail.com