NATO members have gathered in Lisbon, where they will follow the American lead, and agree on withdrawing most forces from Afghanistan by 2014, after a beginning is made by a partial withdrawal next year, in 2011. However, this seeking after a safe and honourable exit means that a NATO presence, which includes the US presence, will continue, and the entire region will go on being destabilised. The USA used NATO to cover its invasion of Afghanistan, and the scheduled date of departure means that its occupation will have lasted 13 years. It is obvious that the pressure which is being faced by NATO member governments, including the US government is growing too much to resist, which is why all NATO members are seeking an exit which can be portrayed back home as a victory. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who will join the NATO meeting later along with non-NATO members part of the occupation force, will also endorse the 2014 date, which is being shown as the point where Afghan forces will be able to take responsibility for national security. However, as the security will be for the Karzai administration, the collapse of the regime is not forestalled. US President Barack Obamas fine words notwithstanding, expressing commitment to maintain Afghan security; the possibility of the USA abandoning the region once again cannot be precluded. Since India has been entrenched there by the USA, its continued presence there, though not taken notice of by the Summit, is not only unjustified, but is inimical to Pakistan. Pakistan will probably welcome the result of the meeting, as the government competes with NATO in subservience. But the fact of the matter is that 2014 is too long off as a realistic date of withdrawal. Since Pakistan is suffering the most, it should not accept this withdrawal date with any complacence, and should call for an earlier withdrawal than planned. Not only will that suit Pakistans interests, but it will also lessen the suffering of the Afghan people.