Way before the Mumbai massacre, the World media had been highlighting the axis of evil, and had already placed the epicentre in Pakistan. Calling Pakistan the most dangerous place in the world, we were singled out as a pariah people, denied visas, students missing their university dates due to slow processing of visas, denial of medical visas to even seriously sick people. The drums were beating, and the media took up the chorus. When the Mumbai massacre happened, the scapegoat was already in place, the UN resolutions had been passed unanimously, judgement written, well in advance. The UN resolution being passed without a veto from our only friend - China - shows either complete ineptitude of our UN mission, or some sinister sell-out, but certainly an Indian triumph. The similarity between Bangladesh 1970 and Mumbai 2008, in the media preparation is too close to be coincidental, with the International Press crying 'villain' from the beginning. The tone is being set by the Washington Post, the New York Times, and followed by the UK press. The Indians should realise that this is not 1970, and the militants are not the Mukti Bahini. The militants are by nature anti-India, and by practice anti-non-muslims. Also in a unipolar world India is not the all powerful US. So retaliation will be swift, and India's surgical strike would be very costly. The present government, is being pressed to 'rein' in the ISI, bringing the new president into a power tussle with the army. Asif Zardari is too new in government to be able to cope successfully with the myriad problems being thrown his way, especially with lieutenants chosen for loyalty over merit, with most of them being hopelessly out of touch and resented by the existing officers at being by-passed, with the smell of corruption lingering, not completely cleansed by the NRO. Hamstrung by these impediments, President Zardari must act quickly to bring old hands like Riaz Khokar, and Munir Akram (ex UN) to staunch the blood flow. Our Foreign Office needs to bring together all its experts against the gathering of the Indian ambassadors who are combining in Delhi to plot next moves. With the baying of the Indian hounds for 'surgical' strikes in Pakistan, the Indians should understand that their media offensive though massive, has been seen through by most observers. Primarily because the Indians have chosen not to supply any evidence of Pakistani involvement. When this statement is made by the visiting head of Interpol, the murky realm of the world press by selective reporting - worse still, biased editorials, makes the Pakistani position seem even more precarious. With the position seen in the present light, the Indians are ahead on points with Pakistan reeling, and on the ropes. However, if the Indians try their 'surgical' strike, they will succeed in bringing together all the diverse Muslims - militant - or peaceful, with the mullahs screaming 'infamy' from every 'pulpit'. This cry will be echoed in Iran, and in the region including the Indian sleepers in Afghanistan, who have been the main thorn in the Pakistani backside passing on money and arms to anyone willing to turn against Pakistan. This has been going on since 1947, with many Afghans benefiting from the animosity of the two neighbours. This animosity manifests itself most when the war drums are heard, then every sane educated sensible urbane cultured Indian, and his Pakistani counterpart turn into a rabid hysterical mob thirsting for blood. The biggest winners will be the hawks who will immediately surround President Zardari and may insist on implementing their hardline strategy to 'contain' the Indian designs. And the militants who will rejoice at the discomfort of the two protagonists, laid low by ten men. Amongst the losers will be the people of Pakistan who will see their economic dream evaporate, without seeing the light of day. The surgical strike would also trigger a massive black hole of uncertainty over Corporate India. Their 350 billion dollar reserves would not last long under war conditions-not to mention the losses in tourist trade, or the IT exodus of the Americans from Bangalore. The time has come for the Indians to join Pakistan in the eradication of the terrorism scourge together. The American macho impulse to conquer Afghano-Pakistan by sending more troops will fail, as it did in Vietnam, and as it is doing in Iraq. History shows that the Home team will always win. The Russians were beaten in their own backyard for the Afghans are masters at the Home game. It seems the US is being sucked into the whirlpool known as Afghanistan which has destroyed many a would be conqueror. Obama would be well advised to jettison the remaining Bush warmongers, and instead spread a new message of goodwill towards all. The message of peace would also remove the belligerence of the militant, to build a new and better tomorrow for the deprived of the region. The writer is a political analyst