Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is incorrigibly optimistic about result-oriented outcome of the government peace talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Blowing off his palm the impression that talks have run into troubled waters he says there is no deadlock in the dialogue process and next round of the two committees would take place shortly. He also dispelled the perception that his government and the army are not on the same page. The release of non-combatant prisoners by the government, he insisted was in agreement with the forces otherwise how could they be set free when they were in internment centres run by the army. He did admit 'an irritant in the otherwise excellent civil-military relationship' caused by some of his colleagues, but this was more of mismatching opinions than of policy. So far so good, but what about future about which he too is not very certain. The next round, according to him, is going to be 'crucial and critical' as both sides are expected to come up with a comprehensive agenda. The minister wants Peshawar to be the venue for the next round, instead of tribal area where militants are sorting out each other. With militants' claimed violence still being rampant what makes Chaudhry Nisar optimistic? The government has already released 19 non-combatants and would like to release 13 more, but the TTP has patently cold-shouldered this generosity by not only refusing to release anyone held by them but even by asking who these prisoners were. Is it then what is half glass empty to the people is half glass full to the interior ministry? A more incisive, dispassionate look into the reality of the peace dialogue process is in order. Of course, the future of this dialogue process remains blurred and largely unpredictable; but it has scored a few plus points also, of which two stand out rather pointedly. First, there is the ceasefire which is holding, though not as fast as one would wish it to be. On the other hand, all the recent violations have been invariably disowned by the TTP, accompanied by its claim that some others are trying to sabotage the peace process and that killing of non-combatants is 'Haram'. Of course, this is no great solace that one group of Taliban has stopped killing innocent people. But this does suggest that on the question of ceasefire the Taliban groups differ, and differ violently as confirmed by their ongoing bloody infighting. And this indeed is a significant output of the dialogue process given the fact that any government faced with the challenge of internal insecurity would like to see anti-state groups taking out each other. But that said the possibility cannot be ruled out that those opposed to peace talks would assert their existence and clout by notching up violence, as seems to be the motive behind incidents of violence in Rawalpindi and Islamabad since the ceasefire. Perhaps, reciprocal releases of prisoners held by the Taliban would have added to the interior minister's positivism. Hopefully, when the two sides meet next time some releases should follow. Since kidnapping for ransom is a flourishing business in today's Pakistan it is quite likely that all the known big-name kidnapped are not with the TTP; in fact they have already denied custody of sons of Yousuf Raza Gilani and Salmaan Taseer. However, if the TTP does go for a release it is most likely to be Dr Ajmal. There are innumerable improbabilities about the outcome of the peace process. But going by Chaudhry Nisar's growing optimism it increasing appears that it cannot be abandoned at this stage. But this cannot go on also without delivering something tangible - a litmus test for the next round.