NSA desires a broad based multiethnic Afghan govt including Taliban

Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassan: National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua thrusday desires a broad based multiethnic government including Taliban in afghanistan adding that the CPEC only half of the dream of China, Afghanist is the next half.

National Security Advisor said this while speaking at a special seminar titled “Peace- a dividend for development and stability in Afghanistan”, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with the National Security Division of Pakistan here on Thursday at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services, (PIPS).

Lieutenant General (retired) Nasser Khan Janjua, National Security Advisor told the participent that Pakistan and Afghanistan share a lot of opportunities and have common economic future which has the potential to connect to markets of Europe, Africa and rest of Asia. Both have the potential to become trade and economic hub of the world. He said nobody has ever invested in peace in the region and that Pakistan will support any effort of peace process, which would be Afghan lead and Afghan owned. Peace is a dividend for both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the region and the world. The two countries being an economic hub will multiply the economies of the world, he added.

Nasser said Afghanistan is heart of Asia region and if there is peace in the heart only then there would be prosperity and stability in the region. “Unfortunately, children of Afghanistan have seen nothing but war since 1979, whereas Pakistan, after Afghanistan, is the most affected country hit by instability and insurgencies”, he added. He said the people of Pakistan wanted to see Afghanistan as peaceful, prosperous and stable country.

 CPEC is only half of the dream of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Afghanistan is next half of the dream by connecting whole central Asia and Europe. He said Pakistan is the only country that can multiply the regional economies; and Pakistan needs to work beyond CPEC and connect the whole world. Pakistan has successfully fought the insurgencies and militancy through Zarb-e-Azb and there is dire need to consolidate on this success, he added.

Speaking earlier, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI, said CPEC would remain a mere road and rail link unless there is peace on the borders especially on the borders with Afghanistan and India. He said peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in favor of the region. Role of China is of great importance amid environment of mistrust. China will soon become an economic common denominator in the region and China’s investment in the region would in turn brought more prosperity once peace prevails.

Imtiaz Gul Senior Analyst on the occasion said until we engage with Afghanistan out of the present obsolete Planning Commission Regime and create a whole-of-government approach through single-window joint civil-military mechanism, dividends of peace will keep eluding us. The civil and military bureaucracy shall have to prioritize economic and human development as the means to survival as self-respecting nation instead of always looking beyond borders for help and sustenance. He said there is a need for smart solutions to deal with Afghanistan to bring about peace and stability in the region.

Ambassador (retired) Rustam Shah Mohmand, Former Pakistan Ambassador to Afghanistan said Unwillingness of US to clearly tell its objectives in Afghanistan, lack of interest and commitment of incumbent government to peace initiatives (status quo) and inability of Afghan Taliban to become a political force are the three major obstacles to peace in Afghanistan.  He said no country would gain as much as there is instability in Afghanistan; and no country would suffer as much as there is stability in the region. As long as there is presence of the US army, there cannot be peace in the Afghanistan, he added. He said there should be a broad based multiethnic government in Afghanistan including Taliban, which is the only sure guaranty for peace and stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan must factor this in to its foreign policy formulation.  China’s role as mediator must be permanently supported and proposed by Islamabad, he added.

Syed Iftikhar Hussain Babar, Secretary National Security Division, said to bring peace in Afghanistan is of paramount importance and priority of Pakistan’s foreign policy. The 17 years of war in Afghanistan caused billions of dollars as loss to the economy of Pakistan. He said Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process is of Pakistan’s priority. Overlapping regional connectivity cannot be achieved and successful without peace in the Afghanistan, he added.

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