This was also the takeaway after top-level officials from US and India met in Washington DC over the past couple of days. The US is hurting after a particularly ill-executed withdrawal from Afghanistan that has geopolitical consequences. This may result in a global distancing from the Afghan problem, with many western powers willing to leave it to Pakistan. According to senior government sources, this could mean a return to 20 years ago when Pakistan made itself a frontline state and will look to stabilise Afghanistan in a way that the ruling dispensation is better disposed towards Islamabad rather than New Delhi.