PRESIDENT'S Hamid Karzai's demand made before a UN Security Council team in Kabul to set a timeline for the withdrawal of troops should be hailed. Saying that the presence of troops would further complicate problems, he criticised the NATO and US forces stationed in the country for creating a parallel government. His question that the war had gone on for seven years and yet a small force like the Taliban could continue its operations indeed begs an answer. One would have to lend ears to Mr Karzai if further destruction is to be avoided in Afghanistan. After getting disillusioned with finding a solution with the use of force, the Afghan President had sought the intervention of Saudi government to bring all stakeholders in the war to the negotiating table, but one of the main hurdles is the presence of foreign army, a precondition for talks laid by Taliban as well. Apart from that, the international community is increasingly realizing the harm that the war has done. Almost everyday a large number of casualties, including those of non-combatants, are being reported in the media, causing resentment among the population. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband also observed the other day that rather than focusing on the military aspect of the campaign the need was to make Afghanistan a financially strong nation. Under the circumstances what is badly needed is a roadmap for the departure of the NATO forces before normal conditions could be restored in the country.