Gulbadin Hekmatyar, Afghan warlord and leader of Hizb-e-Islami which, alongside the Taliban and Haqqani networks, is fighting against coalition and Afghan government forces, has stated that there can be no peace in Afghanistan until NATO and US forces leave. This is a view that is increasingly shared by many saner elements in the region and is also one of the underlying reasons why President Karzai is desperately seeking a dialogue with the Taliban and others fighting NATO and US forces and has already been in touch with Hekmatyars people. For his part, Hekmatyar at one time feted in Washington along with other Mujahideen leaders and escorted in the US corridors of power by none other than Zalmay Khalilzad has given out his own road map for peace which begins with the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan within a year, to be followed by free and independently organised general elections. According to Hekmatyar, the need is to bring the fighting to an end in a peaceful way so as to avoid the mistakes made when the Russians left. Hekmatyar has direct experience of that period of fighting since he was a commander of the anti-Soviet resistance. Unfortunately, the US continues to remain confused and directionless in its Afghan policy and so persists with a military-centric approach that is already showing it is destined to fail. As for Pakistan, it is unable to delink from this disastrous US policy and is getting more embroiled in a similarly disastrous policy in FATA. Even NATO members like the UK have realised the need for pursuing a dialogue to end the war in Afghanistan and disagreements between the US and UK are becoming more apparent. It is high time Pakistan opted for a dialogue with its tribal population in FATA so as to isolate the foreign militants and their protgs. Meanwhile, the Taliban have now declared categorically that Mullah Omar is not only in Afghanistan but is leading the fight from the front. Yet, sitting in Paris, the French Foreign Minister Kouchner has declared that not only is Mullah Omar in Pakistan but everyone knows this is so. According to him, Mullah Omar is either in Karachi or Quetta This is an irresponsible statement to give since as before no proof is ever provided, leading to the conclusion that it is merely a ploy to target Pakistan. It is time Pakistan took a firm stance on such wild accusations given how without its support NATO and the US would be totally stranded in Afghanistan in more ways than one. It is time for the Pakistani leadership to extricate itself from the misguided US war and commence on a holistic policy of dialogue and accommodation backed by military power.