Regional powers attending twin security dialogues in India and Pakistan this week are holding the lives of 40 million people in their hands.

Afghans are trapped between a radical Islamist group and a global community apparently content to sit back and let their aid-dependent country plunge into crisis.

There’s a lot at stake at these two meetings. The national security chiefs of the countries in attendance in New Delhi on Wednesday — Russia, Iran, India and the five Central Asia republics — are fearful of instability spilling over their common borders. They’re wary of unmanageable refugee flows, already a problem for Iran, with close to 800,000 Afghan refugees, and Pakistan, home to more than 1.45 million. All hold grave concerns that Afghanistan is again becoming a safe haven for terrorist groups and are watching for an uptick in drug trafficking and production. Close allies and India rivals, China and Pakistan, are notable no-shows.