The Pakistani military leadership has ‘declassified’ the file on the NATO’s November 26 attack at the border post in Salala in Mohmand Agency. The testimony by the Pak DGMO Maj. Gen. Ashfaq Nadeem at the cabinet and the Senate’s Defence Committee in Islamabad on Thursday underlined that not only was the NATO attack pre-planned, there was a deliberate attempt to cast the Pakistani military leadership in a bad light as inept and gullible - Isaf commander Gen John Allen had visited Pak army chief Ashfaq Kayani just the previous day (Nov 25) at the GHQ in Rawalpindi and later feigned ignorance about the air strike!

What emerges is a total breakdown of trust; it’s no more a matter of ‘trust deficit’. The details shared by the Pak DGMO make it clear that the US-NATO plan was to ‘punish’ the military leadership in Rawalpindi in front of the public and the armed forces. This is of a piece with an apparent game plan to systematically create disunity within the Pak top brass by discrediting Kayani in particular - branding him in the first instance as ‘pro-American’ and then showing him as weak and inefficient in his job and implying he is unfit to lead the armed forces.

To be sure, it is unlikely there can be any US-Pak reconciliation in a conceivable future. Xinhua news agency was spot on assessing that last Sunday’s phone call by US president to Pak counterpart Asif Zardari failed to work and probably now “even an official apology from the US or NATO would not be enough to solve the dispute.” Indeed, Maj. Gen. Nadeem’s testimony sets the tone for the government’s pending announcement in the National Assembly regarding the future course of Pakistan’s cooperation with US, NATO and ISAF.

The AFP reported today that Pakistan has ‘upgraded’ the air defence system on the Afghan border. What happens now to the US’s much-acclaimed strategy to decimate the Haqqani Network leaders through drone attacks? There hasn’t been a single drone attack on Pakistan since Nov 17. Now, Iran has ‘demystified’ the drone saga and is right now probably doing reverse engineering on the US’s most advanced stealth model.