If Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan were to join hands to combat militancy to the exclusion of foreign interference, as their Presidents who had assembled at Tehran to participate in the two-day international conference on Global Fight against Terrorism decided on Saturday, the region would be spared a lot of trouble. Restoration of peaceful conditions, no doubt an uphill task under the present circumstances, would have better chances of success. There would be much less loss of human life, which in the eyes of the invaders seems to have little value, and it would, in all likelihood, be much quicker to achieve reconciliation and understanding with the disaffected lot that has turned militants and bring them back into the mainstream of life. There would neither be killer drones hovering over our skies, mercilessly massacring civilian population, nor any threat to our sovereignty. As Asif Zardari, Hamid Karzai and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad committed, along with participants from other countries, respect for one anothers sovereignty would be assured. Irans supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rightly said that the drones are spreading the menace of terrorism. The deaths of innocent people outrage fellow tribesmen, converting them to the deadly cult of militancy to wreak vengeance upon those who seem to have facilitated the aerial attacks. Addressing the conference, Mr Zardari maintained that fighting terrorism successfully required global efforts and warned against the senseless use of force and violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity to achieve this purpose. The Americans, it must be noted, have miserably failed in their 10-year long military solution, frequently stepping on Pakistans toes to violate sovereignty. They now have veered around the idea of opening negotiations with the Taliban whom they had dislodged from the power and had, all this while, been targeting. A subtle distinction, which their leaders like Richard Holbrooke were at one time loathe to make, has now been made between 'good and 'bad Taliban to hold dialogue with the 'good ones. Yet the exclusion of key players in resistance would not make for peace. The Americans even failed to prepare the force of their surrogate Karzai to take care of the countrys security once they had left. The road to peace in Afghanistan and the region and honourable exit of the Americans lies in quick departure from the scene. A formal announcement about it is a condition precedent of the real resistance to come forward and negotiate. Ultimately, it would be the local people composed of different ethnic groups who have to manage the show. A regional solution to the Afghan issue that takes into account representation in governance of these groups in accordance with their population strength is the only viable solution. Apparently, the US is disinclined to accord the Pashtuns their due share in governance.