The latest news from Afghanistan says that the United States (US) has succeeded in securing a seven-day truce with the Taliban. The so-called truce started this Friday. But can the ceasefire be called a harbinger of the dawn of a new era for Afghanistan? It is too early to suggest anything along these lines.

Moreover, the language the US officials are using while commenting on the truce shows that the US is taking the earlier criticisms of its approach towards securing the deal seriously. The US officials’ tone reveals that they are in no hurry to strike a peace accord with the Taliban. The US has adopted the “wait and see” approach to calculate the effectiveness of the recently secured truce before taking the next step.

Nevertheless, commenting on the Taliban’s approach and the next move is a bit more challenging because of the maverick nature of the group. So far, the group has gained all that it has desired from relying on violence. However, the recent shift in the American approach to secure a deal means that perhaps “efficacy of violence” may not help the Taliban anymore, at least in the short run.

So what is the way forward? What can ensure a win-win situation for all, given every one admits “the best solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement”? First thing’s first. The Taliban must accept that over-reliance on violence to see the US withdrawal can prove counterproductive. The group has already forced the US to join them on the dialogue table.

Perhaps, it is time for the Taliban to show some flexibility in their approach so that the yearlong discussion can see more progress. Time is of the essence. If the Taliban miss this opportunity, the US presence in Afghanistan will only be prolonged. And that is something no one in Afghanistan desires.