Due to the latest upsurge in terrorist activities throughout the country, the controversy over the policies of Musharraf regime in the aftermath of 9/11 has intensified. This has induced the former President to present his views before the people to enable them to make an accurate judgment. His arguments in a writing that recently appeared in TheNation, are facile - like the slogan of 'Pakistan First - and specious - like the apprehension of obscurantism. He should have dealt with caution, without presuming their validity, the seven demands the US Ambassador at Islamabad had presented to him to accept. The subsequent US National Commission Report, briefly presented here, underscores this vital aspect. About his vehement assertions about the facilities provided to the US forces, for instance, making available only a narrow flight corridor, and the refusal to give USA any naval ports, air bases - except of course two air bases only for logistics and aircraft recovery - are frankly belied in the Centcom report later. In addition, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albrights writing is indicative of the flawed US objectives in Afghanistan, which further undermine the reliability of Musharrafs views in support of the US these objectives. The US National (9/11) Commission Report maintained that September 11 attacks came as a shock, but those should not have come as a surprise because the extremists had given plenty of warning; and the plotters had made mistakes. The arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, interested in flight training for the purpose of using an aeroplane in a terrorist act, was not linked to the heightened indications of hijackings and attacks. The Centcom report was a detailed information of every allys role in Afghanistan, and it was released on May 3. The report furnished elaborate facts to reveal the actual extent of cooperation from Pakistan, and therefore it is extremely useful for the sake of clarification. For instance, it noted that up till October 2002, a total of 57,800 US air sorties against Afghanistan were carried out from Pakistan. On the average, 0.4 million litters of fuel per day was provided to the US forces, as well as all other services, at the bases used by them (in Pakistan). In order to meet the requirements of the US and coalition forces, Pakistan provided five airbases. In emergency, however, planes could land anywhere in Pakistan. To facilitate these air operations, Pakistan provided 2/3 of its airspace as air corridor to the US forces. For this reason, Pakistan had to reschedule or redirect many of its commercial flights. In addition, the navy provided landing facility to the US and coalition ships at Pasni, Balochistan. According to the US Marine Corps Gazette of June 2002, the coalition naval operations at Pasni were the largest amphibious operations in size, duration and depth that the Marine Corps had conducted since the Korean war. The details of the material offloaded at Pasni and later flown or driven to Kandhar were impressive. The Centcom report also documented the well-planned and carefully conducted raids by the Pakistan law enforcement agencies with the cooperation of US intelligence, apprehending 420 foreign nationals, and out of those 332 were handed over to the US The impact of the Operation Enduring Freedom on the fragile economy of Pakistan was also divulged. The report maintained that major losses were caused to civil aviation, tourism, investment and shipping in Pakistan due to rise in insurance rates and other factors. Besides, Pakistani exports also suffered adversely, and foreign investments experienced a visible decline. According to approximate estimates, its economy suffered a loss of over $10 billion in 19 months since October 2001. The political opposition in Pakistan blamed Musharrafs government for kowtowing USAs policy and permitting its forces such as FBI to violate the fundamental rights and security of the citizens by conducting raids on the private houses and taking them into custody. In the age of information technology, Islamabad was viewed to twist facts and obfuscate truth behind the smokescreen of great expectations. The government went to great pains to conceal from the public the extent of overall cooperation it was extending to the US as a frontline state. Secretary Albright in an article on October 5, 2004, pointed out a deeply disturbing picture of Afghanistan. According to her, the Americans tactics had been inconsistent with the long-term objectives of stability and democracy. This observation is far more apt today than at the time it was originally made. Because, according to the US plans, as modified subsequent to the invasion on October 7, 2001, a stable, democratic and secure Afghanistan was critical to reverse the challenge posed by Al-Qaeda and prevent the resurgence of extremism in Central Asia and around the world. On the contrary, the US inability to win peace in spite of the years of war makes these objectives difficult to achieve. After all, the Afghanistan conflict since 2001 is the longest war the US has fought in its history. It is to be noted, the avowed goal of the US policy to set up a democratic regime in a secure Afghanistan was for public consumption. For the actual objective was to eradicate the terrorist threat against America, to pacify Afghanistan to make it secure for its occupation in a region of vital geostrategic importance. However, eradication of terrorist threat basically is a political issue, which should have been a maxim for relevant US policy. Instead, it is founded on military response which evidently underwrites the policy failure. For this failure, due credit, of course, goes to the Afghan freedom fighters, its population for showing the fortitude, and also to the Pakistani public for maintaining an attitude of forbearance during the turmoil - that is, not changing their outlook upon the Afghan freedom struggle, despite escalating terrorist incidents in Pakistan - and the Pakistan military strategy to an extent, but not to the former President Musharraf, who has earned a discredit for himself. The consequences of US invasion for Pakistan are no less than extraordinary. The malevolent Indian presence in Afghanistan, militant turmoil along the northwestern border, growing incidents of terrorism in the mainland Pakistan and violation of the state sovereignty are serious challenges that have accrued to Pakistan. As if these disadvantages were not enough, economic losses, remarkably diminished pace of national development, devious attempts by the treacherous Indo-US entities to put a permanent stamp of terrorist state upon Pakistan, and converting it into a source of geostrategic contest and international politics are the added national burdens. These challenges stand compounded by the nefarious US and Indian designs in fomenting insurgency in Balochistan. The astonishingly large number (reportedly 7,000) of visas granted to the CIA and US special forces agents - in Washington by the Pakistan Embassy, without undertaking prescribed procedures are meaningful. For such contingents tend to serve as a precursor of military action by a belligerent power. It is because of these various factors that these prevails divisiveness in the nation today. Unless a grand and bold vision for Pakistan is entertained and firmly pressed into action, the cumulative loss to this nation will be incalculable. n The writer is Chairman, Pakistan Ideological Forum Email: suhrabaslam@hotmail.com