The Bonn Conference on Afghanistan hosted on December 5th raised the aspirations of the 1,100 participants towards reaching a peaceful settlement of the problems facing Afghanistan and the region, although it was described as a conference for peace, rather than a peace conference by Ambassador Michael Steiner, Germanys special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. I was invited to attend the conference by the German Foreign Ministry and departed Islamabad before the Government of Pakistan decided to boycott the event, as a protest for the Nato and Isaf murdering 24 Pakistani soldiers at a check post well inside Pakistani territory. Since I had reached Germany, I decided to make the best of the trip to present Pakistans viewpoint to the German and international media. We first visited Berlin, where we held discussions with members of the German Parliament, the Bundestag about the Bonn Conference. Our media group comprised four Afghans, three Pakistanis and one Iranian and Kazakhstani journalists. Our hosts were keen to know what the real reason for Pakistans boycott was. We made it absolutely clear that Pakistan had no hidden agenda and its anger, angst and hurt feelings must be respected. After all, as retaliation to the arson at the British Embassy in Tehran, UK closed down its diplomatic mission, withdrew its diplomats and expelled the Iranian diplomats from London. Simultaneously, the European Union expressed its condemnation of the attack on the British Embassy. No loss of life occurred in the Tehran attack; it cannot be condoned, but the Occident is unfairly chastising Pakistan for reacting to the, perhaps, premeditated massacre of its soldiers, while itself retaliating to the Tehran event. The Bonn Conference was preceded by a number of events. One of them was a two-day seminar organised for the Civil Society of Afghanistan by various German political NGOs. Thirty-four participants of the Afghan Civil Society Forum, German politicians, philanthropists and media attended the event at the Beethoven Halle. It was ironic that in the historic city of Bonn, home of Ludwig Van Beethoven, the composer of immortal and serene musical scores, some members of the Afghan Civil Society Forum made venomous attacks on Afghanistans neighbour, Pakistan, for harbouring terrorists, aiding and abetting the Taliban and possessing nuclear weapons, which may be acquired by them to destabilise the world. The other impression was that the Forum indulged in praising the Karzai regime and could find no faults with it. Secondly, they took pains to highlight the problems plaguing Afghan society, but they spoke in general and vague terms only, failing to identify possible solutions. On the eve of the conference, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon desired to meet our group of journalists from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan exclusively. We queried the UN Secretary General, if he has asked for an investigation into the attack on Pakistani military check post by Nato, since it was a violation of the UN mandate. He chose to ignore the question. When asked how the decisions taken at the Bonn Conference be binding on Pakistan in absentia, he stated that the country had already given its consent to abide by them. This was another slap on Pakistans face, as if Pakistans presence at the Bonn Conference was immaterial. The conference itself commenced with short speeches by the German and Afghan Foreign Ministers and Mr Karzai and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. Each delegates presented a three-minute short speech to express their viewpoints. The Chinese Foreign Minister gave a five-point recommendation for peace, which comprised the respect of Afghan sovereignty, capacity building, developing its economy, and addressing the concerns of Afghanistans neighbours. Iran made it clear that it deemed it undesirable that some foreign powers wanted to extend their military presence beyond 2014. The German identification with the Afghans is understandable. That Germany itself was humiliated by the allies following the First World War, defeated, occupied and divided after the Second World War, and so is the case with Afghanistan. Thus, the efforts by the Germans to help rebuild Afghanistan are both noble and based on emotive norms. The arrangements made by the German Foreign Ministry to host the 1,100 delegates are commendable and deserve kudos, while the Goethe Institute that hosted us was both hospitable and professional. The change of Afghanistan from Transition to Transformation - the slogan of the Bonn Conference - will take a while, but we pray and hope that peace will not elude the region. The writer is a political and defence analyst. Email: sultanm.hali@gmail.com