THE quadrilateral summit between Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and Tajikistan held in Sochi, Russia, was an important reassertion of Russias role in this region one of the many efforts by Russia to regain its lost space in Central Asia and Afghanistan. The quadrilateral summit is one more effort by Russia to move towards the Soviet era cooperation in the Central Asian-Afghanistan region. Pakistans participation was also one small effort to move out of the US grip, in terms of Afghan policy. The participants committed themselves to helping Afghanistan rebuild its infrastructure, with an urgent focus on the Salang tunnel linking north and south Afghanistan. Other joint and cooperative projects encompassed the energy sector also, including the CASE-1000 project of transporting power from Tajikistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. These three countries welcomed Russias participation in this project. The summit also called on the international community to come forward and aid Pakistan cope with its flood catastrophe. President Karzai also welcomed the support from Russia to fight terrorism and in this connection there was a one-on-one meeting between the leaders of the two countries. Russia which at one time was a major player in Afghanistan is actively seeking to regain that position again and may compete with NATO in that connection. With the general expectation that the US will be leaving Afghanistan sooner rather than later, and that too without a military victory, Russia must surely be looking to fill some of the vacuum especially given its old links to Afghanistan and its reassertion that it is a regional neighbour with legitimate interests. For Pakistan, this summit and the interaction with the Russian leadership can be of significance if our leadership sustains a follow-up in a substantive manner rather than just paying lip service to summit diplomacy; after all, it allows Pakistan a foot in the door of cooperation with Russia with whom India has historically close strategic ties. Pakistan has to be aware of the threat of a possible Indo-Russian-Afghan nexus post the US withdrawal. President Zardari and President Karzai also had a one-on-one meeting, but unfortunately for Pakistan the anti-narcotic agreement could not be initialled which is being seen as a victory for Karzai who was opposed to it. Nevertheless, the summit was a signal that there are going to be new power games being played in Afghanistan and beyond and that the US and NATO will be increasingly challenged not only by their own failures in Afghanistan, but also by the resurgent ambitions of Russia in Central Asia and Afghanistan. That is why it is imperative for Pakistan to remove its Washington-focused blinkers before it is marginalised in its own region.