The controversy rages on - Should we or shouldnt we - Is it good, bad or ugly for Pakistan - Will it compromise our sovereignty and so on. And we are damned if we do and damned if we dont. Comments of some our senior citizens in our print media are worth reproducing: 'The PEACE Act, 2009 commonly known as the Kerry-Lugar Bill is a supreme example of the servility and shamelessness of our top-most leadership, who secretly aided and acquiesced conditionalities that leave Pakistan in the dock. 'The armed forces and the ISI stand accused and proven guilty of initiating, aiding and abetting terrorism and whose two cities, Quetta and Muridke, are wrongly and unjustly identified as centers of terrorism. Never publicly has even a banana republic succumbed to such conditionalities. Even the Chalabis of Iraq would not agree to such humiliating conditions. (The existentialist threat to Pakistan, Farooq Khan Leghari, former President of Pakistan, The News, Monday, October 12, 2009). Senior columnist, Ayaz Amir also shares our former Presidents views and in his article, 'Kerry-Lugar: bill or document of surrender? (The News International, Friday, October 2, 2009). 'Pakistan seems less an ally than a rogue state. A convicted rapist would be required to give fewer assurances of good conduct in order to receive assistance. And for this, the Pakistani nation is expected-to go down on its knees and thank the US for its unbounded munificence. If this is American friendship, hostility sounds like a better option. While columnist, Kamran Sahfi, in his article, 'Bullying the 'bloody civilians (Dawn 13th October 09), has quite the opposite view and writes: 'I have read the complete text of the Kerry-Lugar Bill four times and find nothing in it that impinges on Pakistans sovereignty. Even Dr. Kaiser Bengali, senior economist and a Member, National Finance Commission, seems to be quite comfortable with the KLB also and in his interview in the News last Sunday, he has stated: 'It gives us foreign exchange. There is a need for support because of Pakistans own fiscal situation. I fully support the bill as well as the conditions. As can be see from the above responses, the controversy and the heated debate rages on. I am therefore surprised that why a draft copy of such an important document, which has been around for almost two years, was not circulated to GHQ, the political parties and other important stakeholders for their comments and viewpoints, before it was finalized? Why was this 'silence of the lambs up to now? Those responsible for creating this unnecessary storm in a tea cup should be held accountable, as they have embarrassed and humiliated the government and the entire nation and sent a negative message to the world that divided, we still stand. From the various comments and articles in the print and electronic media of our independent and less politically inclined analysts and senior columnists, it seems that in the long run, the Bill will be good for Pakistan and its citizens. They base their views on a simple argument that, just examine the past performance and track-record of our past and present leaders and their governments, both civil and military and the tragedy of errors that we have witnessed during the last five decades. They have misused our judiciary, bureaucrats, the LEA and all the aid that has been given to us over the years, shamefully. They have even mutilated our Constitution for their own 'self above all agendas and even today, the affairs of the country are being managed on an add-hoc, day-to-day basis. So can we blame the Americans if they distrust us and want some assurance as to how their money will be spent? To clarify the muddy waters of the KLB, US Senator John Kerry, one of the co-authors of the Bill, has issued a list of 'myths and facts about the proposed legislation, which was reproduced in the Dawn on 10th October. ( ill-qs-02#). Some of these 'myths and facts are as follows: Myth: The $7.5 billion authorized by the bill comes with strings attached for the people of Pakistan - Fact: There are no conditions on Pakistan that are attached to these funds. There are, however, strict measures of financial accountability on these funds that Congress is imposing on the US executive branch, not the Pakistani government, to make sure the money is being spent properly and for the purposes intended. Myth; The bill impinges on Pakistans sovereignty - Fact: Nothing in the bill threatens Pakistani sovereignty. Myth: The bill places onerous conditions on the aid to Pakistan and interferes in Pakistans internal affairs and implies that Pakistan supports terrorism and nuclear proliferation - Fact: The conditions on military aid, reinforce the stated policy of the government of Pakistan, Pakistani opposition parties and the Pakistani military. Myth: The bill requires US oversight on promotions and other internal operations of the Pakistani military - Fact: There is absolutely no such requirement or desire - If these clarifications are correct, then all this 'huffing and puffing is uncalled for and we should take an honest and pragmatic review of the Bill. The good news is that 'US officials have acknowledged that inappropriate language was used in several controversial phrases of the bill and find a middle ground to save the spirit of enhanced partnership with the people and the Government of Pakistan. No doubt, we must not take dictates from the Yanks, but at the same time, we must not have a closed mind and reject it for the sake of gaining political points or playing to the galleries. We must accept the fact, like it or not, America is a Super Power and even outspoken, radical and American haters like Col. Gaddafi have thrown in the towel and cried 'Uncle. Well, all the above is now history, as the deed is done and like it or not, President Obama has signed the KLB and made it law, but not to the sound of triumphing bugles, as our Shah Mahmood Qureshi was hoping for. Instead, of a red carpet reception, with all the pomp and ceremony, he had to settle for a rap on the knuckles, with just a simple signing of the Bill, to which he was not even invited. A real shame. Where lies the truth, only time will tell, but in the mean time, let us hope that better sense will prevail and we accept the Bill gracefully and use it wisely to improve the quality of life of the 170 million desperate, deprived citizens of Pakistan, who I am sure, would welcome the much-needed aid. (email: