Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Image Credit: Reuters

The London summit was more about the hypocrisy and self-centred attitude of the West than about creating a plan to restore stability in Afghanistan. Buy out the Taliban and restore peace to Afghanistan, seemed to be the shocking suggestion!

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's offer of a $500 million (Dh1.8 billion) cheque to inspire the militant outfit to lay down arms and rejoin Afghanistan's society would seem insulting if it were not entirely laughable. And then came the equally ridiculous offer of a pullout of allied forces, who have been sustaining heavy losses in the offensive, from the war-torn and fragmented country in five years.

Whatever happened to the West's familiar refrain — we don't negotiate with terrorists? What makes them so sure that the Taliban would accept the money and lay down their arms? Absolute power can rarely be bought. The Taliban with their extreme ideologies would gain more by asserting total control over Afghanistan and forming a government than they would by accepting a cheque for a mere $500 million. In a classic example of washing their hands of the problem, the Western governments have stressed that it will be up to Karzai to lead any process of reconciliation.

Public support in the West and in Afghanistan is waning. Karzai has his back to the wall with diminishing encouragement from Nato and its allies. In the end, it will be left to him to pick up the pieces as his friends may ‘cut and run'. This explains why Afghanistan's beleaguered president has now called the Taliban to the negotiating table — through a jirga mediated by Saudi Arabia.

This seems like a last-ditch effort. The series of events illustrates that plans are going horribly wrong. If the West can't bomb their way out of trouble then they would pay their way out of trouble.