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Kabul should bolster its ties with Beijing sans Islamabad’s mediation: Muradian

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: Political analyst, Dr. Dawood Muradian, said that Kabul should forge friendly relations with China as it’s a neighbor and a great economic power. However, he said that the ties should not be forged through Pakistan’s mediation.

While speaking at Rana Think Tank, Muradian said that Beijing does not understand Afghanistan well, thus it is willing to strengthen its ties with Kabul through Islamabad. “Despite being neighbors, relations between Afghanistan and China were not strong in the past,” he added.

He said that politicians in China are divided over the country’s relations with Afghanistan. “Some of the politicians think of Afghanistan as a safe haven for terrorists, while others think of the country as a center of untapped natural riches,” said Muradian. Dr. Muradian as a former Afghan diplomat has paid several visits to China and is familiar to the grey areas in Afghan-China relations.

He added that China as an economic power is willing to have strong economic ties with Afghanistan, but is not interested in expansion of political relations. He said that China is interested to invest in Afghanistan. “As far as terrorism is concerned it is also posing a serious threat to China. As many as 37 suicide blasts has taken place in Urumqi, the northwest city of China, since 2012,” he said.

Muradian said that China doesn’t understand Afghanistan, thus they chose Pakistan as mediator, because the country cannot trust the US, as their rival. “It is still unclear that to what extent Pakistan would develop the ties between the two countries, because Islamabad could not be trusted, considering the double standard game it played in the war against terrorism,” he asserted.

He said that for strengthening its ties with Kabul, Beijing has chosen those Afghans, who are loyal to Islamabad. He alleged that some contacts have already been made. “Unfortunately, the Afghan government failed to develop strong relations with China over the past 14 years,” he said.

In the meantime, he said that Afghans also don’t understand China. “Hardly any official in key organizations, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Directorate of Security (NDS) can speak Chinese language,” Muradian added.

He said that China has shied away from interfering in internal affairs of Afghanistan, thus Afghans think of it as a friendly country. He added that China for a very short period of time supported Afghan mujahedeen by providing them weapons during the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

“China turned its attention towards Afghanistan in 2015, but it still has fears from terrorist groups in the country. Kabul should not let Islamabad exercise its political clout over the relations between Kabul and Beijing,” Muradain went on as saying.

He said that Kabul should strengthen its ties both with China and India, for the two countries are more concerned about strengthening their economy rather than expanding territory.

“China should not force Kabul to use China-Pakistan corridor, but Wakhan corridor in Badakhshan province need to be developed,” he added.

China as a great country with more than one billion populations is one of the most powerful countries in the world.

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