The third Trilateral Summit held between Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan was expected to discuss a longterm strategy for Afghanistan and chalk out a framework for the three nations to cooperate after international troops leave in 2014. While the summit was meant to focus on rebuilding a prosperous Afghanistan, the meeting transformed instead into an Iran-Pakistan bilateral discussion. With the looming IP gas pipeline issue still at the forefront and numerous energy and trade discussions underway, in many respects, Afghanistan became an excuse for the two nations to conduct consultations and finalize plans without having to answer to the international community. It is disappointing that Iran would exploit the opportunity and Pakistan would welcome it when the need of the hour is cooperation and transparency. Iran’s behavior is guided by national security and the threat of international sanctions, but the Summit could have proven enormously beneficial for the regional powers involved had they set aside ulterior motives and focused on the issue at hand. It should hardly come as a surprise then that Afghanistan is warming up to India, a nation that illustrates its commitment to rebuilding a war-torn Afghanistan.
Altamash Shajjan Kabul, Afghanistan