This time it is the academia taking lead in a fresh 'psychological warfare effort' directed against the Pakistani institutions. Certainly, the prestige of London School of Economics (LSE) has eclipsed after publishing a fiction like dubiously cobbled report entitled The Sun in the Sky, linking the Pakistani institutions and the leadership with Taliban. The ISI has all along been the favourite punching bag for pseudo-intellectuals known for collecting data to support given 'psy-ops' central ideas. Sometimes the Pakistani army is also dragged into the contoversy by this bunch of sponsored researches. However, the LSE report breaches all levels of imagination and tends to implicate even the highest office of Pakistan. Content-wise, there is nothing new in the report, it is same old rubbish rubbed yet once again focusing on the theme "Pakistan appears to be playing a double game of astonishing magnitude in Afghanistan." The report is a routine manifestation of the embedded collusion amongst various secret services, the mainstream western media and some academic institutions. Such institutions carry out undercover services for peddling political and military themes in the name of research. What's more, the report is based on research conducted by a British researcher Matt Waldman, who in known for his close links with the British political and defence establishment and the US military. He conducted field work in Afghanistan apparently with the help and support of the occupation forces. The one-sided and highly biased report refers to several unnamed single sources. Accusations against Pakistan are mostly based on hearsay. Limited database of only 14 interviews, beside the blatant violations of the accepted norms of research methodology, makes this report quite unreliable. Waldman has worked as a defence adviser for the British Liberal Democrat Party. He is an analyst at Harvard University's Carr Centre. This centre has strong links with the US military establishment. The report constructs a fictional setting to support an alleged meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Taliban prisoners. It alleges that President Zardari praised the Taliban. It also implies that he encouraged them to harm NATO interests in Afghanistan. However, the text fails to specify the time and space of the event. It just mentions that the meeting was held at an unnamed Pakistani prison. Surprisingly, most of the sources quoted are western military officials and diplomats along with unknown Afghans whose loyalties could be easily bought by NATO. The Afghan Taliban leadership has already issued strong rebuttals to the report. Keeping in view the intricate level of intra-Afghan negotiations, this report is certainly aimed at diluting the focus of ongoing reconciliatory efforts being supported by Pakistan. The timing for the launching of this report has already raised many eyebrows about its motives. Presently, Pakistan is engaged in an effort to strengthen Afghanistan's national reconciliation process by acting as a bridge between the Haqqani network and the Afghan government. Initial contacts have been established with senior leadership of his group, through intermediaries, in a bid to facilitate a rapprochement with the Karzai administration. These intermediaries have presumably come up with a viable roadmap for a political settlement between Kabul and the Haqqanis. The Haqqani group is indeed the most powerful warring entity. It is taken as a serious threat by the Afghan National Army and the occupation forces. It would be premature to comment on the outcome of this initiative; however, initial indicators are promising as the leadership of the group appears to be willing to engage in the process. In the meanwhile, there has been a qualitative change in the attitude of Afghan President Karzai towards Pakistan during the recent months. Karzai's hostile statements against Islamabad seem to have come to an end. He publicly acknowledges Pakistan's inevitable role in the intra-Afghan reconciliation process. The initiative by the Pakistani side for a patch-up has presumably been taken on the request of the Afghan government. Anyway, the recent resignations by Afghanistan's intelligence chief and Interior Minister are likely to further strengthen the ongoing reconciliation endeavour. Moreover, Pakistan's effort to mediate between the Haqqani group and Kabul is the result of the mounting pressure from the US to launch an offensive in North Waziristan. However, our military is sensibly watching its steps. It is resisting all temptations to mission creep. Presently, it wants to avoid overstr-etching and is not interested in opening yet another front, as it is already dealing with ongoing operations. Also from the political perspective, this reluctance stems from a number of considerations. For example, the Haqqani group has not been involved in attacks inside Pakistan, and hence it is not a direct threat to the state. But, more importantly, the group is a force to reckon with. It has prudently kept its command and control structure, and military prowess intact. Apparently, no sustainable political solution can be found for post de-occupation era in Afghanistan without factoring this group. It is in this context that Pakistan is striving for an understanding between the Karzai government and the Haqqani network. Presently, the biggest challenge in working out any arrangement is its degree of acceptance by America. Nevertheless, it is expected that at an appropriate time the Americans would endorse such an arrangement. Time and again, the Americans have shown their willingness to engage with the Taliban provided they cut off ties with Al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorist groups. Director of Intelligence CENTCOM has been quoted as saying that Jalaluddin Haqqani is "absolutely salvageable". In the past, President Karzai has tried to woo the Haqqani group, but this solo effort proved to be a non-starter. The group did not even attend the recent Loya Jirga; however, it has been convinced to talk to Karzai. This group operates largely in the south-eastern provinces of Khost, Paktia and Paktika. The occupation forces accuse it of carrying out attacks in Kabul and Kandahar. Recently, General David Petraeus said that the US wants Pakistan to act against the Haqqani group. The US forces have since long identified the Haqqani group as one of their biggest enemies in Afghanistan and have been urging Pakistan to crackdown on the group based in North Waziristan. The charm of a big 'success' in Marjah has now fallen apart. The military push in Kandahar is already behind schedule and is mired in controversy and disagreements. It is in this context that LSE has lent itself as a vehicle to pressurise Pakistan for venturing into an untimely operation in North Waziristan. The writer is a retired Air Commodore of Pakistan Air Force. Email: