According to a press report datelined New York, both President Asif Ali Zardari and COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani have given an assurance to the Americans that Pakistan will be acting against the Haqqani network. This assurance was given to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her recent visit to Islamabad. Such an assurance, if given, goes against the unambiguous and unanimous resolution of the all parties conference held on September 29 in the wake of the threatening remarks made by Admiral Mike Mullen. In sum, the APC decided, in the words of its resolution, to give peace a chance. The army, which has so far been pleading its inability to proceed against the militants of the Haqqani group, was part of the APC in the first instance and in the second of the assurance that has apparently been given. There is little doubt that at the moment the Pakistan Army has an over-extended presence on the Pak-Afghan border, apart from the fact that it deploys a sizeable force on the Indian side of the border. It must take into account that any further military action would inevitably either make the eastern flank of the country vulnerable or thin out its deployment in the FATA region. This would be dangerous in either event, besides the fact that success does not lie in simply announcing the launch an operation. With the possibility of talks open, there seems to be no immediate reason for the Pakistan Army to take up arms against the Haqqanis in North Waziristan. The Army has also gone on record suggesting to Washington time and again that it should engage the Taliban in negotiating a peace settlement and post-withdrawal course of action to follow in Afghanistan. In fact, the Americans have taken this advice and are doing just that. Secretary Clinton herself has acknowledged behind the scenes, that these negotiations were being conducted through the intercession of the ISI. This is precisely the strategy which we too should be following. Military operation presents many an odd against Pakistan, not excluding the militants backlash in the form of a heightened incidence of suicide attacks in the country. A severely negative public reaction is also certain. The widespread feeling in the country is that our army should not, under any circumstances, open a new front, as the option of concluding a settlement through peaceful means can still be exercised. We must also remember that a spokesman of the Haqqanis had, some time back, stated that in case of a war between the US and Pakistan, the group reserved the right to decide which side to support. We should be working on a solution that envisages a peaceful Afghanistan, living in harmony with Pakistan and its neighbours, as the final outcome of the war on terror and that can only be achieved through talks.