It was heartening to see the international Kabul Conference, attended by all the major stakeholders, endorse the Kabul governments plan to make peace with the insurgents - effectively the Taliban - in order to end the almost nine-year war. Of course, dialogue with the Taliban would be contingent upon their renouncing violence and accepting the Afghan constitution as well as committing towards the building of a peaceful Afghanistan. But the main point was that all parties, including the US, have realised the need to talk to the militants which is a recognition that the military-centric approach has failed. Under these circumstances the US can hardly push Pakistan towards a military operation in NWA. In fact, the Pakistani side needs to also institute dialogue with its militants who are prepared to lay down arms and accept the writ of the state. Otherwise, the centre of gravity of this doomed US war will shift permanently to Pakistan especially as the US and NATO exit. It is strange to find the US continuing to target Pakistan with jaded mantras of do more and baseless accusations of Osama and Mullah Omar being in Pakistan. Hillary also could not resist this temptation to indulge in these offensive diatribes which will get the US nowhere. Clearly, the US intends on making Pakistan the scapegoat in its failed Afghan war. It is time Pakistan delinked itself from the disastrous US war on terror and carved out its own indigenous multi-pronged policy to combat extremism and militancy. Pakistan adopted a sensible posture in Kabul by calling for the political reintegration process in Afghanistan to be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led. Adventurist states like India and even the US need to take a back seat on this count as this is the only way the process will be credible and effective. In this connection, Karzais demand that at least 50 percent of the development aid for his country should also go through the official Afghan state budget is also valid because channelling this money through NGOs and other organisations distorts national priorities as each NGO has its own agenda which may or may not be in consonance with the priorities of the state. And no government can allow external non-state actors to dictate priorities for its state. All in all, the Kabul Conference also implicitly revealed that the US and its allies intend to move towards a military withdrawal from Afghanistan and have shifted the onus on to the Kabul regime to see how quickly they can move the reconciliation with the Taliban forward. A politico-military vacuum is opening up and certain external players like India are already moving in to exploit the situation and gain space for influence. It is time Pakistan straightened out its Afghan policy beyond merely echoing support for Karzai.