Reports suggest that the US is losing patience with Pakistan’s strategies with respect to India and Afghanistan. Reports also suggest that India and Afghanistan are becoming exasperated by the safe heavens of anti-India and anti-Afghanistan elements within its territory.This has been coupled with an extremely negative public opinion about Pakistan amongst both neighbours — and vice versa — which is growing in severity with every passing day. In Pakistan, peace activists are being bullied and chased by elements belonging to the deep state. Disappearance of one such activist; Raza Khan has been almost completely neglected by the mainstream media. It has sent shock waves among the already cautious activists’ community in Pakistan. Democracy has been uprooted repeatedly and the control of the state is reducing. This has created a complete disconnect between people and state policy. The only interface that has been left operational between the people and the unseen policy makers is of brutal propaganda which is gradually influencing public perception that is completely devoid of any trace of reality.This is not something that is new or unique; our history is in fact replete with many instances when unrepresentative, unseen and unanswerable individuals have made a complete mess out of smoothly running systems, and the nation has not always been able to get out of the mess without a tragedy. It is high time that the elected government and Parliament, with the assistance of the Foreign Office, take control of foreign and security policies and start an era guided by rationalism and pluralismThe US is demanding that we dismantle the militant infrastructure which may have been left over from previous joint US-Pak strategic policies. India wants to dismantle the militant infrastructure which poses a threat to peace efforts between the two neighbours and which has in the past led both nations to the brink of war on several occasions in the past. Afghanistan is demanding that we dismantle the militant infrastructure that is disrupting hard-won but precarious stability in war-torn country.What are the peace activists demanding? Dismantle the militant infrastructure that, after the cold war, has mauled our national fibre so bad without any quantifiable gains on any front, national or international. In marked contrast to what is being followed as a zero-sum policy, this changed environment of world politics should have been used as an opportunity to get rid of the evil shadows of the past policies that have cost us tens of thousands in human lives and trillions of dollars in terms of economic losses.The current policy of animosity with everyone and over-dependence on China based on false expectations is not sustainable. It is high time that the elected government and parliament, with the assistance of the Foreign Office, took control of the foreign and security policies and started an era of rational and pluralistic foreign framework. The USA, on the other hand, had better — unlike its past follies — strengthen civilian rule in Pakistan and wait for the new government to take charge, before making any big decisions. The biggest victims of this may be the millions of helpless Pakistanis who have no role or say in the disastrous policies that Pakistan has hitherto followed since its inception. The writer is a former diplomat and currently practices law at IslamabadPublished in Daily Times, January 2nd 2018.