The current situation in Afghanistan is pretty difficult, not only for America but also for its front-line ally Pakistan. The Taliban are getting stronger and carrying out deadly hits on US and NATO troops. This is alarming for Pakistan, as the spread of this malaise would also create devastating effects for Pakistan's own long-term national security. It is being increasingly proclaimed in the discerning circles that the policies of Bush administration had totally failed in Afghanistan. The Obama administration is proposing a new strategy, sending more troops to Afghanistan but in effect the US has accepted defeat. This is what is being perceived in Pakistan with huge worry because if US rolls up its bedding, the victorious Taliban will probably turn on Pakistan, the US ally in this war. The Swat surge of Taliban is an alarming portent. The situation in Afghanistan is a quagmire that is sucking in the entire northwestern region of Pakistan. Sooner or later, a solution has to be found by including all stakeholders having interest in the peace in the region. Unless that is done, there'll be more upsurges of militants in other parts of country which can result in what we have witnessed in Swat; devastation, casualties and human catastrophes. -SIDRA NAQVI, Rawalpindi, via e-mail, April 26.