A joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the tripartite summit between Presidents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey, expresses the determination to confront the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Pakistan and Afghanistan have also agreed to launch joint projects in energy, minerals, agriculture, manufacturing and other sectors. Despite Afghanistan being a brotherly Muslim country, its relations with Pakistan have soured on account of accusations of terrorists using the so called safe havens in Pakistan to plan and conduct attacks. Calls by Mr Karzai to the US to launch strikes inside Pakistan's territories to eliminate the terrorists have further estranged the two sides. Islamabad has accused Kabul of harbouring terrorists, both from Balochistan and tribal areas, who continue to conduct acts of sabotage inside Pakistan. Islamabad has complained that Indian consulates established across the Durand Line over the last few years have been involved in attempts to destabilize Pakistan. Under the circumstances President Abdullah Gul's initiative to bring the two neighbours together is highly commendable. The day Mr Zardari and Mr Karzai inked the joint declaration, there was a car bomb explosion in a thickly populated locality of Peshawar killing at least 25 and injuring over a hundred. Another 10 persons were killed in a suicide attack in Orakzai agency while in Bannu three policemen died in a clash with the militants. As Pakistan continues military operation in Swat and Bajaur, terrorists have shifted focus on settled districts of the NWFP. On Friday there was another missile attack inside North Waziristan by the US killing at least three people. The attacks continue despite strong protests by the Pakistan government and Parliament. Neither military operations nor US attacks have improved the situation. With force being employed as the only means to uproot terrorism, there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Mr Karzai needs to tell his western benefactors that what is needed to put an end to terrorism is a long gestation multi-pronged policy rather than bombing innocent people. While the two governments use the good offices of Turkey to improve their relations, countries like Saudi Arabia should be approached to encourage the Taliban to hold talks. The militants should be persuaded to hand over arms and join the political mainstream. In return for a promise to live peacefully, they should be granted amnesty. Once the peace process is initiated Islamabad and Kabul should call upon foreign countries to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan. Outsiders can best help by injecting funds to rebuild Afghanistan and tribal areas in Pakistan which have suffered badly on account of foreign military intervention.