According to Reuters, COAS General Parvez Kayani is now backing Western-sponsored Afghan peace initiative to facilitate the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by the 2014 pullout deadline. According to foreign diplomatic circles, the basic reason for the changed thinking is the realization that Pakistan can no longer control the situation in Afghanistan and would let Afghans to do that themselves and Pakistan is in a position to create an environment conducive to a grand reconciliation there. Therefore, the assumption that Pakistan army has made Afghan peace its top priority appears to be justified.

General Kayani had told formation commanders at a meeting on December 7 that he was determined to support a negotiated end to the war. It is noteworthy that he has been quite proactive, had called on President Karzai at Kabul in November and met Nato commanders and US officials at Brussels to discuss the issue. Pakistan has been of the firm view that peace process is essential, post-foreign-troop departure, for fear that Jehadi elements might raise their heads. Certainly, they could not suddenly transform themselves as responsible citizens. If peace does not return to Afghanistan we would have to face dire fallout.