As a good omen of greater regional cooperation in the future, the diplomats of China, Pakistan and Russia who met in Beijing on Wednesday decided to join hands in bringing about peace and stability in Afghanistan, especially as the process of US withdrawal comes to a close end-2014. It should be no surprise to see that the discussion on regional situation led them to focus on Afghanistan, the principal hotspot around though they also exchanged views on, in particular, terrorism in general. Later, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement in which it was stated that they agreed that regional security and stability cannot be divorced from the developing scenario in Afghanistan. And as its neighbours they could not remain indifferent and greater understanding and the need for greater coordination were the result. In this context they also agreed to support the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which have other regional countries as its members, to play a bigger role in Afghanistan.

A regional solution based on the Afghans’ own wishes and the spirit of reconciliation among the rival ethnic communities in the country appears to be the only way out of the current mess. It can bring peace to Afghanistan, Pakistan as well as the region. However, it must be kept in mind that withdrawal of Nato forces does not, in any way, paves the way for Russia to have a foothold in the country.