By: Lailuma Noori
Foreign affairs ministers for both Pakistan and China have recently said that peace and stability in Afghanistan are vital for economic and social development, connectivity and prosperity in the region. They have called on all sides to ongoing conflict for ceasefire in the country.
In a joint declaration released following meeting between foreign ministers of the two countries, all sides to the disputes in Afghanistan have been asked to seriously work together to reach a conclusive, overall and comprehensive government through negotiations.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi made the call at the third session of the foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, China.
They said that both sides were declaring their commitment to facilitation and supporting Afghanistan peace process led and owned by Afghans and asking for a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan that could fight terrorism and live peacefully with its neighbors.
They also called for ceasefire in Afghanistan and declared their support to the country’s peace process, adding that they were ready to expand their economic and business relations with Afghanistan.
The two countries pledged to work jointly for peace to prevent a possible civil war in Afghanistan, and mediate negotiations among the Afghans.
In recent weeks, tensions between Kabul and Islamabad have increased. Afghanistan government has accused Pakistan for supporting the Taliban that has intensified violence across the country.
Days back, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in a cabinet meeting said that Taliban and thier supporters were responsible for bloodshed in Afghanistan.
With recent remarks and meetings between foreign affairs ministers of Pakistan and China, it is hoped that political tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan reduce in some extent.
China is considered as a close friend and neighbor of Afghanistan. The country was one of allies of Afghanistan as it has provided lots of assistance to the country in both economic and cultural sectors.
Increasing presence of extremist and terrorist groups in Afghanistan and favorable centers of extremism in China’s Xinjiang can threaten security of China in future. In addition, the ISIL – K or Daesh group is considered as serious and big threat to China. To counter and address all these threats, China is interested in maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan. Both China and Afghanistan cannot ignore the common challenge and threat.
A number of Afghan international relations experts believe that China is a close ally to Afghanistan and can help in the country’s peace process as it has somehow influence on Pakistan.
The country can convince Pakistan to stop supporting terrorism. China understands well that the main hub of extremism and terrorism is in Pakistan.
Currently, Afghanistan is at the frontline fighting terrorism and extremism. If this line is broken or weakened, China and Russia will become insecure. In consideration to the formation of security equations in the region, ISIS, al-Qaeda and all other terrorist groups are trying to reach China and Russia and for time being, Afghanistan is the front line of ongoing war on terror.
China and all other countries in the region need to help Afghanistan reach lasting peace and stability. If not, the region will soon witness tensions and insecurities to be caused by terrorist and extremist groups supported by Pakistan.
This comes amid surge in Taliban attacks and violence across Afghanistan.