LAHORE As the US Review Strategy on Afghanistan (December 2010) is approaching fast the Washingtons efforts in facilitating Taliban talks with the Kabul regime have had a wide coverage in the international press. General Patraeus, the top US Commander in Afghanistan replaced General McCrystal in July this year. First task that he selected for himself after taking over was to readjust former Commanders strategy in Afghanistan. Since then all counts indicate that he is fighting a war for time rather than space. There can be two reasons for that, one; he wants to corner President Obama in the forthcoming Afghan policy review wherein the latter could only adjust a few twists and bends in the existing policy and two; he effectively wants to export his war to Pakistan before he could work on declaring his Afghan mission a success. So far his campaign has not found a concrete direction for he knows that Afghan insurgents always go to ground to fight another day. Showing any progress at this point of time would be tantamount as illusionary. As he gains time in Afghanistan he gains in holding the fate of Obamas administration in his hands. Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defence, has also indicated some minor adjustments in the forthcoming review of Afghan war policy. The adjustments are not likely to be significant enough to alter the main thrust of the existing policy i.e. to declare military victory in Afghanistan. The efforts to export the war into Pakistan and declare victory therein may enable the US to save its face in Afghanistan but the results will be disastrous for it because such unjustified efforts could lead to destabilise Pakistan and raise military tensions in this region. Since the military means have been rendered fruitless in subjugating Taliban the only viable option of engaging Taliban in talks has found a surge in the recent months. There have been solo efforts by Afghan President Karzai, the British and the Americans to engage the Taliban but so far they have been directionless and appear to be fishing in the dark. The results of these uncoordinated talks efforts have so far been fruitless. Gilles Dorronso, a Carnegie Endowment expert on South Asian affairs has floated an idea wherein he strongly supported the need to take Pakistan onboard for all inert-action with Taliban. He also observed that Pakistan being the only entity could deliver for the world on Afghanistan. Pakistan on its part also acknowledges how important a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan is to its security interests. Pakistan has friends in all the major ethnic groups, be it the Tajiks, Uzbeks of northern alliance or the Pashtuns of the south. The growing international acceptance of an undisputed status of Pakistan that can help broker a power-sharing agreement between the rival factions in Afghanistan also mandates that Pakistan must be on board on all peace talks efforts. The isolated and individual talks with the Taliban have already made Pakistan sceptical of such moves. Any talks between the US and the Taliban or between Kabul and Taliban have got to be transparent to Pakistan as keeping Islamabad out of the process would have two disadvantages one; the move would make Pakistan skeptical of the moves by US and Afghanistan for being an effort to gather Taliban that may be hostile towards it and two; by not getting Pakistan aboard on such talks either of the two countries may end up with Taliban who do not represent any significant Taliban group or who cannot perform any role in bringing the warring factions on the same table with the US/NATO and Kabul. The recent episode of British intelligence betting on an imposter who hoodwinked their secret agencies by letting them believe that he was actually Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, an important shura member of the Taliban hierarchy. He was even led to meet Afghan President Karzai by the British as the Talibans chief negotiator. Americans purportedly knew the identity of the imposter but deliberately kept quite in a wait and see policy that criminally wanted to derail, prolong and sabotage the US Presidents withdrawal timeline. The whole Taliban imposter issue only went to highlight the dubious role of the US and NATO in Afghanistan especially that of General Patraeus. If the United States continues to mistrust its frontline partner in war against terror which has become so essential for Pakistans security interests itself, all efforts and policies so evolved will have the forebodings of sequential disasters looming large for the entire region.