Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was established right after the collapse of the Soviet Union as a loose association of states formed with an agreement on 8 December 1991.

At the very onset, the organization was comprised of Russia and 11 other republics that were previously part of the Soviet Union. The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus signed the agreement forming the new association hence replacing USSR.

The three other Slavic Republics later joined the consortium along with the Transcaucasian Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia. Officially the CIS organization was founded on 21 December. 1991.

The administrative center of CIS is located in Minsk, the Capital city of Belarus.  This year in 2015, the organization will mark its 24th anniversary. Since its inception and independence of the republics, Pakistan has had warm relations with all the CIS countries. Pakistan recognized the independence of these states sooner and began to adopt foreign policy objectives of creating a lasting relationship with the people of the region.

During the course of history, several high-level visits were done to the countries and several numbers of agreements based on the economic, social, political, educational, sport, information technology, science, energy, and others have been signed so far to enhance partnerships with countries hence bringing the dividends to the nation.

A large number of diaspora living in these states is earning goodwill for the states and Pakistan. Some of them are students, a few of them are businessmen, and are trying to build the partnership to many lasting levels.  Although critics are varying of the fact about the significance of the CIS as an organization the countries which are members of this structure are important for Pakistan.

CIS was devised to serve for further the development and strengthening of the bond of friendship, good neighborhood, inter-ethnic harmony, trust, mutual understanding, and mutually advantageous cooperation among member states.

The objectives and missions are well mentioned in its charter adopted during the inception of the organization. Several other structures were devised to give a new shape to the CIS as an organization but due to several reasons, the association failed to reach the objectives and aims, set during its earlier years.

Keeping in view the context of Pakistan, quite recently, we have observed a height of activity including several high-level travels from CIS member states to and from Pakistan. This reflects the growing need from both sides for the urgency of developing deep-rooted links in the wake of the new world order.

The neo-regionalism is on the rise where the powerhouses are being shifted from being bipolar world to a multipolar world. The non-state actors especially the international organizations have set the stage for fierce economic and political competition for gaining access to the benefits of the region. On the other hand, these old Soviet States had recently got rid of their shackles of the USSR and hence are expanding their selves to the outside for collaboration and cooperation.

The CIS is a loose association of states. Although the CIS has few supranational powers, it is aimed at being more than a purely symbolic organization, nominally possessing coordinating powers in the realm of trade, finance, lawmaking, and security. It has also promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention.

Furthermore, eight of the nine CIS member states participate in the CIS Free Trade Area, and five of these form the Eurasian Economic Union, a customs union and common market of over 180 million people. In addition, six member states participate in a mutual defence alliance: the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

The region posed a great significance for Pakistan and its future as the recent high level visits and especially the ground breaking of TAPI gas pipeline reflect that future of the region is also connected to these and several other important projects including CASA-1000. Larger connectivity and promotion of peace and harmony among the regional countries would trickle down to the nations of the region.