China’s peaceful role in Afghanistan

Yasir Habib Khan

After 20 years of 9/11, the recent first of its kind “Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Afghan Issue” among the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, attended by State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi set the tone for a prosperous future of Afghanistan, offering a “comprehensive repair plan” to all damages inflicted by the US-led offensive under the grab of the war on terror.

Meeting deliberations appear to have laid down a roadmap to defy international conspiracies and deny Afghan’ land as a further proxy warzone for other foreign powers.

Indeed, the lopsided war on terror in Afghanistan created by the US is the epitome of a complete failure. The reason is very simple. Eradication of terrorism and radicalisation was believed to be the basic cause behind unleashing combat. After a 20-year span, both factors (terrorism and radicalisation) ominously gained conspicuous ground, even setting their footstep globally. It is an irony that this war prompted more wars, throwing a spanner in the work of peace and stability.

Under the grab of the War on terror, the US authorised itself to invade any country. First, it attacked Afghanistan and dismantled the Taliban government. Instead of finding a political solution, the White House imposed a war for 20 years. Resultantly, Afghan people plunged into the worst humanitarian crisis, and they are still struggling and paying a heavy price for what the US botched.

In a meeting, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Afghanistan is now standing at the crossroads of history. “The United States and its allies withdrew from Afghanistan hastily, indicating that the power politics, military intervention and so-called ‘democratic transformation’ promoted by the Western countries led by the United States ended in failure. However, Afghanistan is still facing severe challenges such as humanitarian issues, people’s livelihoods and the COVID-19 pandemic. Some international forces may also use political, economic and financial means to create new troubles for Afghanistan. Yesterday, the Afghan Taliban announced the formation of an interim government, the ‘interim’ indicated that Afghanistan’s future still has a lot of uncertainties,” he added.

Wang Yi stated when revealed that as neighbouring countries, they are more eager than anyone else to see Afghanistan out of war and chaos, and resume peace and development. It is endorsed that we should make an objective assessment of the history of the Afghan issue and call on the United States and its allies to learn profound lessons and assume their due responsibilities on the Afghan issue. The United States and its allies are the culprits of the Afghan issue. Over the past 20 years, terrorist forces in Afghanistan have been on the rise instead of being eradicated, and the Afghan people have been stuck in poverty and hardship instead of achieving development and dignity.

There is complete agreement on Wang Yi’s views when he said, “we should guide and urge the Afghan Taliban to unite with all ethnic groups and factions, build a broad and inclusive political structure, pursue moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, draw a clear line with terrorist forces, and establish and develop friendly relations with other countries, especially neighbouring countries.”

On the issue of pandemic prevention and control in Afghanistan, it is said that as one of the countries with the lowest vaccination rates in the world, Afghanistan is at risk of an accelerated spread of the pandemic. All parties can join hands and continue to provide anti-pandemic supplies and technical assistance to Afghanistan. China has decided to donate three million vaccine doses to the Afghan people in the first batch. China is also ready to provide more anti-pandemic and emergency materials to Afghanistan under the China-South Asian Countries Emergency Supplies Reserve.

It is also expected from all regional countries to keep port gates open. Afghanistan’s economic and trade exchanges are highly dependent on land ports. On the premise of ensuring the security of our countries, we should maintain unimpeded ports of entry with Afghanistan. China is ready to actively discuss the resumption of China-Afghanistan freight trains, support other neighbouring countries in enhancing customs clearance capacity-building with Afghanistan, and facilitate Afghanistan’s interaction with the outside world, especially its access to humanitarian supplies.

On the issue of strengthening the management and control of refugees and migrants, the United States and its allies should take the primary responsibility for addressing the issue of Afghan refugees and migrants, while providing countries that are in a position and willing to host Afghan refugees with necessary compensations.

With offering humanitarian assistance as soon as possible, neighbouring countries ought to help each other and lend a helping hand to each other in times of difficulty. Based on the needs of the Afghan people, China has decided to urgently provide food, materials for winter, COVID-19 vaccines, and medicines worth 200 million yuan. When security and other conditions are available, China is willing to help Afghanistan build projects that will contribute to improving people’s livelihood, and support peace, reconstruction and the economic development of Afghanistan within its capacity.

For deepening cooperation on the counter-terrorism and security fronts, the meeting has urged the Taliban to resolutely make a clean break with all extremist and terrorist forces and take effective steps to restrain and combat them. All parties should step up intelligence sharing and cooperation in border control, timely arrest and eliminate terrorist groups slipping in from Afghanistan, and ensure regional security and stability.

The participants stressed that it is imperative for Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to harmonise their opinions and stance in the face of the changes in this country. The international community should respect Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, assist it in realising security and stability and rebuilding its economy, and provide urgent humanitarian assistance. The United States and its allies must shoulder their responsibilities. The participants called for an open and inclusive new Afghan government which will represent all ethnic groups and factions and completely cut its ties with all types of international terrorist organisations. All participants spoke highly of the consensus reached at the first Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Afghan Issue Among the Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan, recognised its unique role, and agreed to institutionalise this foreign ministers’ meeting.

(Courtesy Nation, Pakistan)