Two Pakistani diplomatic officials, who were kidnapped while travelling from Jalalabad to Torkham last month have been recovered in a search operation conducted by Afghan security forces. These two officials are staff members of the Consulate General of Pakistan in Jalalabad. After their abduction, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Dr Omar Zakhilwal assured the government of Pakistan that their security forces and intelligence agencies would do everything to recover them.

Afghanistan must be commended for such diligence in the matter, and for being able to take charge of the situation. The foreign secretary of Pakistan, Tehmina Janjua, also informed Afghanistan of the gratitude the country feels over the quick action taken against the disappearance, and that President Ghani himself took the responsibility of informing the Pakistan embassy of the recovery of the officials.

However, even through all of this, Afghanistan seems to be stuck in the same historical rhetoric of trying to prove itself a victim of the neighbour’s policies, and at the same time portraying to fight back the situation by their generosity. If one looks at the security situation of the country otherwise, it is deteriorating by the day. On Wednesday, 26 soldiers were killed in an attack on Kandahar base. It is clear that military personnel, along with the intelligentsia, cannot curb the presence of the Taliban, and the growing influence of Islamic State (IS) in the region.

Kabul is under attack every other day, and there are no signs of negotiations with the Taliban. When a country is stuck in such a conundrum, the logical thing to do is seek help from those undergoing the same problem. While Pakistan may have significantly surpassed Afghanistan in its attempts to eradicate terrorism from the region, the country can still relate to the loss of lives and the amount of resources it takes to restructure the set up.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has reiterated Pakistan’s support to the cause on countless occasions. The most recent being at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Astana. At the same time, the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa has also offered to help the country in its fight against terror.

If a helping hand is being offered again and again, rejecting it is a poor foreign policy choice. Yes, relations take time to amend and need constant positive input to progress, but flatly refusing to engage Pakistan is also not wise. One can only hope that the return of Pakistani diplomats is a sign of the Afghan government offering an olive branch.