After ten year of consistent bloodshed in Afghanistan and investment of billions of dollars, the western allies of Afghanistan are of the view that the conflict in Afghanistan can only end through a political settlement and not by a continuation of military operations. For that purpose, the international community has backed the peace reconciliation program initiated by Hamid Karzai administration both from financial and non-financial point of views but now even Karzai's view about the program of peace deal with militants has altered to something Afghan and international analysts have maintained since the beginning of the peace process.
Karzai himself has pronounced the efforts to involve Taliban in dialogues as futile and fruitless. The government of Afghanistan, now, sees Pakistan as party to negotiate peace in Afghanistan; rather than Taliban.
Karzai believes that the Taliban leadership and some other terrorist networks are under the thumb of Pakistan's ISI. Then why not directly talk with Pakistani authorities?
Is this what Pakistan wanted? A peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the benefit of Pakistan; that is what the Pakistani authorities have maintained since long. But not to forget, Pakistan also wants strategic depths in Afghanistan.
If the dialogue between governments of the two countries begins, heavy conditions and demands from Pakistan's side should be expected. But above all, Pakistan would want a government in Afghanistan that can not be utilized by the rivals of Pakistan against its interest and national security.
A stable Afghanistan would definitely be in the benefit of Pakistan which has been witnessing a security going towards the worst.
There is no doubt that the key to peace in Afghanistan and elimination of terrorists' safe heavens on the other side of the border is in hands of Pakistan.
There are severe internal and external pressures on the Pakistani government to play an effective role in fight against insecurity in the region with full sincerity and political willingness.
That is the long demand of its own public and expectation of the world from this nuclear state. Pakistan and Afghanistan are close neighbors but they miss close cooperation. The time for that has come.