Imtiaz Gul heads the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad, and is the author of The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan’s Lawless Frontier, a book on the militarization of the tribal areas.

Pakistan's little-known army chief, Ashfaq Kayani, holds the key to a smooth exit for U.S. troops. Imtiaz Gul on what the general's angling for at this week's U.S.-Pakistan talks—and why Obama must visit Islamabad next month.