The first pre-requisite for any genuine Afghan peace process is reshaping the surrender-narrative. The term 'peace' itself must be reclaimed so that it is no longer viewed with suspicion or equated to surrender and weakness. Those who are hostile to it become comfortable with it.
The Taliban will not be defeated militarily. This is an unfortunate reality, but a reality it is. It does not mean that Afghanistan is 'lost'. It means that 'winning the war' can no longer be the guiding principle for policymakers. The collective commitment must now be 'winning the peace'.
The mass slaughter of 142 people, most of them children, in Peshawar last week was a disgusting act. Unfortunately, the Pakistan government's reaction has been unwise, following the pattern set by the United States in 2001: pouring oil on the fire, while ultimately undermining the rule of law.
Whilst there is absolutely no justification for the killing of women and children in Islam, Muslim leaders have made the all-too-common mistake of apologising and condemning a crime which was not carried out in the name of religion. Rather, the unfortunate event that occurred was as a result of an ongoing cycle of violence that began in 2001.
Now is not the time to doubt our capacity to do good in the world, nor to understand and embrace those that would do evil. Now is the time to fight for the children of the world. This war will be without end, till the blood of those prepared to put kids in the crosshairs runs no more.
The massacre of 142 people of which 132 were Pakistani children is absolutely inhumane. Many more are critically injured and we can expect to see the death toll rise. The devastation caused by the Taliban in Peshawar to the families of the victims is unimaginable.