The Washington-based US-Pakistan strategic dialogue throws a timely spotlight on what should be the right strategy for Pakistan. On the US-India nuclear deal, the emphasis has been on obtaining a deal similar to the one struck with India. It is and has been a recipe for a flawed strategy. It would have been much more effective to legally challenge the deal as violative of applicable international laws than to be a supplicant for a non-starter deal. The hype over it suggests being deceptive and deluding people back home. The US may have dangled the lollypop of an India-like nuclear deal with Pakistan but the chances of it crystallising are slim. The New York Times reported that US Secretary of State Hillary Clintons reaction to a nuclear deal was lukewarm. In fact, according to The Chicago Tribune, the talks resulted only in modest progress overall, and Clinton referred only vaguely to a promise to work together on Pakistani requests for military equipment and financing. Although US assurances were made to press for the passage of legislation with respect to the much-hyped Reconstruction Opportunity Zones, other initiatives that would stimulate investment and development in Pakistan are still in the discussion stage. Few concrete results from the strategic dialogue are apparent, which suggests insufficient clarity and coherence about policy goals. As an agenda for the talks, Pakistan had presented to the Americans a 56-page document, which a Washington Post editorial termed as a lengthy laundry list. That 56-page document could and should have been reduced to a 1-page sheet reflecting Pakistans core concerns on which the talks would have focused. What apparently was not highlighted during the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue is the spectre and factors behind global militancy: occupation of Kashmir and Palestine. The CENTCOM Commander, General David Petraeus, told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on March 16: Israeli-Palestinian conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of US favouritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength of USand weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world.The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world. Despite Pakistans perennial political problems, it is hugely blessed with a unique geo-strategic location which bestows upon it enormous advantages. Sometimes these advantages have been squandered by poor representation and lack of no-nonsense negotiators. It partially explains why there has been a loss of leverage in the Muslim world, along with diminution of support for the Kashmir cause. Here, India has exploited this ineptness. The strategic dialogue at Washington may not have been a substantive feat but is a reaffirmation of the salience of Pakistan and, more specifically, the perceived core significance amongst Washington circles of Pakistans armed forces to vital US needs. It also displays the dominance of the military wing over the civilian wing, which may appear as mere decorative accessories. It has muted criticism following the vigorous military operations alongside the Frontier and elevated Pakistans military standing. Also, it has further cemented Pentagon-GHQ ties. This dimension may prove pivotal as already the US has squandered billions of dollars on building up the dysfunctional Afghan army and police. Commenting on the dialogue, the Telegraph of Calcutta wrote on March 25 that the army chiefs Washington visit eclipsed every other strategic priority in Washingtonwith the entire US strategic officialdom eyes and ears gluedto the pivot who can considerably influence via Afghanistan Obamas re-election in 2012. The strategy of the West has been to pressure Pakistan to do more. However, the right strategy is not to over-do. The writer is a barrister and a senior political analyst.