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Editorial: China and military aid

Afghanistan is going through the most challenging phase since ouster of the Taliban from power. The militants dispersed in 2001 are back with renewed strategies and restored strength. The proud US-led NATO is embarrassed by the ill-equipped and poorly trained Taliban and Haqqani Network. The Bush-administration succeeded in overthrowing the Taliban but failed to dismantle the militant group. The remnants are now a headache for the Afghan authorities and the region. The second failure is the directionless peace process. Washington has failed to exploit the opportunity of reconciling with Afghan insurgents in the early years of war when the Taliban were ready to become part of the government. The unconditional participation was a chance to lead the reconciliation drive towards success. However, the serious blunder of the international community was leaving Afghanistan without well-trained armed forces for quite long.

Consequences of these miscalculated decisions were already known. The Taliban and Daesh have established strongholds in different parts of the country. Their flags can be seen in Nangarhar, Helmand, Herat, Ghazni, Paktika, Paktia, Kunar, Khost, Farah, Nimroz and a few other provinces. According to reports of the US authorities, different militant groups control nearly one-third of the country. Sincerity of American people is beyond questions. However, the trouble is made by leadership, both in Washington D.C and Kabul. The US has spent millions of dollars to prevent Afghanistan from slipping back into the pit of violence and sheer violence. But, corruption, haste and ignoring ground realities turned the table in favor of anti-Afghanistan elements.

Beijing’s willingness to provide military assistance to Afghan security forces is a blessing in disguise at this critical juncture when most of allies have gradually forgotten Afghanistan. The Afghan government is preparing a wish list so it could get the weapons that would help in leashing the raging beast of militancy. Though, the aid would not meet all the needs but can help a lot. Engagement of China is imperative to revive the stalled peace process. Beijing has also given nod to President Ghani’s proposed joint military mechanism, comprising of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, China and Pakistan. Establishment of such forum is necessary to get rid of militancy.

Without, sincerity and consensus the joint military mechanism would be of no good. Militants are bold and becoming strong because of differences between the regional countries. The rivalries and differences are providing opportunity to militants to pursue their nefarious goals without regional pressure. Therefore, China shall work on the joint military mechanism and foster regional unity to eliminate extremist and militants.

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