Predictably, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has withdrawn its negotiations offer, and promised revenge attacks, after the killing of its deputy commander, Waliur Rehman, in a drone strike on Wednesday. In his Thursday confirmation of Mr Rehman’s death, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan also announced his replacement by Mr Khan Saeed.

There was no guarantee that talks with the Taliban would succeed. But what the drone strike on Wednesday essentially made certain, was that whatever tiny chance there might be to negotiate a peace with the Taliban, was also firmly exitinguished. It has become frustrating for Pakistan, to try and convince the Americans, that our needs for peace are as great as theirs. Whatever tiny, foolish, naive path we choose to tread in pursuit of this, we have earned that right in our soldiers and civilians blood. Over 40,000 lives lost, living on the border of a war zone for over a decade, and condemned to enduring the ripples of a civil war in Afghanistan after the NATO troops withdrawal of 2014, Pakistan's own security seems to be of little or no concern to the world at large. Thinking Pakistan suspicious for trying to talk to the Taliban, while all the while making preparations to return the same people to power, whom a decade ago Afghanistan was supposed to be "liberated" from -- is a lesson in hypocrisy.

 JUI-S chief Maulana Samiull Haq, through whom the PML-N had indicated a desire to move, was well connected, but untrustworthy. There is no guarantee talks would have materialised, or led to a peace negotiation, or that this peace would have lasted. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the TTP was disappointed. But he failed to mention that the TTP's "disappointment" would manifest itself in violent vengeance, as promised. The strike took place after the May 11 elections, which saw an emphatic victory overall for the PML-N, a party which has stressed the need for talks, and in KPK province, which neighbours the TTP bases in the tribal areas, the PTI, also wants talks.  The US at this juncture  must refrain from acting the role of a bull in a china shop, and ruin talks strategically important to an ally, solely to promote some distant and narrow notion of its national interest.

The TTP must also lay down weapons and show serious readiness to engage in talks. Without talks, the incoming government will have no choice but to deal with the TTP as any challenger to its writ. That will perpetuate the violence, but in the absence of negotiations, will become inevitable. The Karzai regime, and it's new friend India, can only be watching the discomfiture of Pakistan, and the weakening of its state, with enjoyable schadenfreude.