ISLAMABAD, Nov 7: Theories abound on the Afghan endgame but it goes without saying that after Nato withdraws, the regional players, namely Pakistan, Iran, India and Central Asia would have a much bigger role to play.

This was stated by a German scholar Dr Dietrich Reetz during a lecture on “Regional compulsions and opportunities after US/Nato withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014” at the International Islamic University.

He said that the neighbours of Afghanistan — India, China, Iran and Russia — are anxious about the future of the region and feel that they have to play their role.

He gave the example of India, a country which is economically investing in the region to have a foothold in the region, in a future setup.

While commenting on Pak-US relations, setting aside the insecurities and mistrust that had dented relations, he said the US sees no alternative to good relations with Pakistan.

Discussing Central Asia he said that the region can never be ignored due to its importance in the energy sector. He also discussed the importance of energy projects, namely Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) pipeline project and said that it can play a vital role for the region.

While discussing Iran, he said that economic opportunities could create a new environment for removing political hurdles.

He stated that there was a need for positive input by Iran in Central Asia and Afghanistan, as it had regional influence.

On importance of Pakistan and India, especially their love-hate relationship, he said that both neighbours were relative to each other and there were no hegemonic ambitions.

Both countries were continuously facing nationalistic and religious problems. Therefore, it is essential that the neighbours try and develop a working relationship regionally.