For some reason, there is a strong perception in the country that the western powers are against dialogue between Pakistan and TTP. But, in reality, such is not the case. In this regard, the leaders are no more enlightened than the general public. Perhaps, this is why PM Nawaz Sharif felt the need to present his plans and ‘win over’ his counterpart, PM David Cameron, in UK. The international community has raised serious concerns over Pakistan’s consistently deteriorating security situation. The inability of the government to take concrete measures to counter the insurgency has further contributed to the nervousness of onlookers. However, that is not to suggest that they insist on a particular roadmap for Pakistan to follow. Contrary to popular belief, Pakistan has been given full freedom to adopt any policy which it deems most suitable to resolve matters.

Talks or military action, it is Pakistan’s decision to take at the end of the day. Therefore, there is no requirement of a stamp of approval by the leaders of the ‘land of the free’, or the former colonial masters, to decide the fate of the inhabitants of ‘the land of the pure’. Pakistan is at the centre stage, and for now, the world is satisfied to play its role as a mere spectator. Agreed that they are interested in the story, and especially how the drama ends, but there should be no doubt that it is Pakistan itself writing the script.

If the PM and the rest of political leadership believes that a nod from David Cameron somehow adds to the validity of the peace-talks proposal, they are seriously mistaken. The ‘endorsement’ is not necessarily for the modus operandi of the government, rather for its right to make such choices, no matter how misguided they may be. And, misguided they are indeed. Instead of striving to provide reassurances to foreign powers, it would be considerably wiser for the government to let its actions do the talking. The objective is simple, and more importantly, common. The state must establish its writ, and take back its territory from militants who use it for their sinister activities, and openly defy all laws and conventions of the land. Be it government officials, army personnel or ordinary citizens, neither have been exempted from their violent campaign. If nothing else, the unacceptable and impractical pre-conditions set by TTP, are an excellent indicator to predict the failure of peace-talks with an inflexible non-state entity. To think that the terrorists will simply roll over and surrender everything that they have acquired by force is extreme foolishness, to say the least. There is absolutely nothing that the state can offer in exchange, nor should it. The survival of the country depends on the acceptance of the reality; decisive action is inevitable.