US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is not the only American official that feels free to take liberty with Pakistan issuing insulting and highly inflammatory statements about our country and people. Mrs Clinton openly threatened Pakistan with dire consequences recently if a terrorist incident happened in US was traced back to Pakistan in any way. Our officials remained dumbstruck and did not even lodge a protest that any self-respecting country ought to. The result is that now the line has been picked up by other officials of US administration too and they are coming out with it in US media. Recently, the US National Security Adviser and CIA Director visited Pakistan in a campaign to build up (the ever relentless) pressure on Pakistan. We are told that Islamabad has been warned of even unilateral action against Pakistan. Still no whimper from our side, though. I remember an occasion when helicopter-borne US troops from some base in Afghanistan had crossed over into Pakistan and proudly announced We did not ask for their permission, we just told them we are coming. Pakistan took strong action on that occasion which forced them to retreat and there were no such attempts later. Just shows taking resolute action pays. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was also being harassed by the Americans and their allies but he told them off, following which their attitude changed completely. See what a wonderful reception he received in Washington during his recent week-long visit to the US? Lets just understand the all important fact that despite their best efforts, the Americans and their allies are not doing well in Afghanistan and they cannot do without Pakistani support. They could be in trouble if Pakistan blocked their supplies most of which pass through Pakistan. Despite being in such a commanding position, the weakness shown by Pakistani officials is as surprising as it is frustrating. This timidity is only encouraging the Americans to adopt an increasingly belligerent posture, much to the annoyance of Pakistani people. Pakistan must lodge a strong protest against such unwarranted statements by the Americans and also warn them that any misadventures would have serious consequences for them. Lets begin by first withdrawing the excessive 'courtesy that is shown to the Americans and their allies in Islamabad with even their junior officials accorded treatment fit for a head of state. -S. R. H. HASHMI, Karachi, May 30.