IT must have been an Afghan equation in mind, with the withdrawal of the US on the cards, that President Hamid Karzai has made an offer of negotiations to Taliban leader Mullah Omar. The President has been giving out that he would be willing to engage the insurgents as part of the strategy of finding a negotiated settlement of the prevailing conflict. The fact that he is repeating the offer indicates that finally he has started to realise the ground reality. Despite an excessive use of American military power for over nine years, the writ of the state prevails roughly within a few miles radius of the presidential house in Kabul. On the other hand, the Afghan resistance is literally all over the place and is not only making its presence felt through an increasing number of US casualties, but also through the failure of the overall American strategy, evidenced by General McCyrstals episode. Mullah Omar also addressed his nation on Eid Day and his message to the Karzai government was to break ranks with the US overlords and join the Afghan people in driving out the alien forces. And contrary to the charge levelled by President Karzai that Mullah Omar was causing destruction of civilian life, he clearly forbade the insurgents from doing any harm to non-combatants. The Taliban leader is in no mood to come to the negotiating table to discuss the fate of the Afghan people with the occupying forces and their puppet government at Kabul. He is not the first to say that the coalition forces are on the run. If their masters back home have not learnt any lesson from nine years of brutal, though mindless, war, they should now heed his call for departure. Afghanistan is for Afghans to rule. They have seen enough war and bloodshed and it is time they were given control over the country to run it in line with the aspirations of the people.