One had to see Senator John Kerry speak before the media at Islamabad on Monday to know the superpowers arrogant, dominating posture oozing out of every pore of his body. He had not come to Pakistan to apologise for the Osama bin Laden incident, he said with a stern face. Pakistan must decide whether it wanted to become a democratic state Muhammad Ali Jinnah had visualised or a haven for terrorists. He had handed over to the Pakistani leaders a list of specific demands of the US. Trying to discount Pakistans apprehensions about evil designs of the US against its nuclear assets, he held out the assurance that he was prepared to give a guarantee, written in his own blood, that his country had no interests in them. All it wanted was that these assets were well-protected and secure. Some reports, however, also reveal that he told our leaders to put a stop to any further development in the atomic field. From the US, the New York Times is quick to raise scare about the increasing strength of our nuclear programme by stating that the construction of a fourth reactor at Khushab is fast moving towards completion. It quotes a former top Defence Department official as saying that Pakistan has the potential to overtake France in the atomic field, adding another dimension to the growing concern that the US and its Western allies feel over a Muslim power gaining ascendancy in nuclear capability. The influential Senator Kerry, who is Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and COAS General Kayani and stressed that it was important to press the reset button in the Pak-US relations. Thus, the joint statement issued at the end of the meeting underlined agreement to revisit all tracks of US-Pak engagement to create a clear understanding on the ways and means to carry forward cooperation in a mutually beneficial manner. And Pakistan agreed to take certain immediate steps, which have, however, not been defined. Strangely, at the meeting they developed an understanding to respect each others national interests and agreed to work together in any future action against high-value targets in Pakistan; in North Waziristan drones remained active as usual and killed 15 later the same day, as if their deaths would not impinge on Pakistans national interests. The question is: if the US would not take us in confidence about operations directed against minor suspects, how would it like us to join them in an operation against high-value targets? Nevertheless, Kerrys sophistry that secrecy in Operation Geronimo was for operational purposes and not due to mistrust seemed to have been accepted as truth by Pakistani leaders, and they were back in the fold of the coalition against the war on terror. Our leaders must try to comprehend the critical nature of the situation the country is in and the guidelines set by Parliament about the future course of action in this so-called war on terror must be obeyed. The US pressure, arrogance alternated with gentle coaxing 'in our own interests, would continue to muddy the waters for us. A long line of visits from the Obama administration officials indicates heightening pressure. We must resist it to safeguard our future and retrieve our steps before it is too late