THE trilateral Ankara Summit on Wednesday, the third in the series, was different in its format from the earlier moots because it was also attended by military commanders and intelligence chiefs from Pakistan and Afghanistan. The issues discussed included security and stability of the region, and economic and defence cooperation. The Foreign Ministers of the three countries also held a separate meeting. When the Ankara peace process was launched in 2007, the idea was to remove the differences between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which had continued to escalate, and to encourage cooperation between Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan in a number of fields ranging from the War on Terror and the anti-narcotics drive to trilateral economic ventures. Thanks to the efforts of the Turkish leadership, Ankara has emerged as an important player in the Middle East where it has also mediated between Israel and Syria. Turkey has a special connection with Afghanistan, as it had trained Afghan officers in the 1920s. Currently, it has about 900 non-combat troops in Afghanistan under NATO's command, which it is to take over in August. As Ankara also has historical ties with Pakistan, its mediatory role was welcomed by both countries. With Islamabad and Kabul under increasing US pressure to do more in the war against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, it is all the more necessary for them to undertake regular consultations. They need to evolve a common strategy to deal with the terrorists who are out to destabilize the two countries, as well as to resist the unreasonable demands by Washington, which often go against their national interests. In the case of Pakistan, the USA has not only continued to conduct the drone attacks, against which there is widespread resentment in the country, but has now expanded their sphere to Orakzai Agency where a strike killed 12 persons on Wednesday. At a press conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, President Obama has once more pointed a finger at Pakistan as the potential source of attacks inside the US. Meanwhile CENTCOM Chief Gen Petraeus has told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US would take the fight to insurgents in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Inside Afghanistan air strikes by US and Allied forces have killed hundreds of non-combatants. Protests by the Karzai government have been generally ignored. The Ankara peace process also envisages trilateral military and counter-terrorism cooperation and training. Pakistan and Afghanistan have both sent officers to attend training courses at Turkish military institutions. They can benefit from the Turkish Army's wide experience of dealing with insurgents. Turkey can also be helpful as, being a member of NATO, it can project the concerns and needs of Pakistan and Afghanistan in the alliance's summit this week.