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ED: CPEC to CAPEC—three states benefit

There is no doubt that trilateral cooperation between Afghanistan, China and Pakistan—the hostile neighbor that even not thinking to stop backing militant extremists, on the Belt and Road initiative by our friendly, and peace lover neighbor ‘China’, would benefit all the three states. Relations between Kabul and Beijing have been all the time warm and friendly, while there is huge tension between Kabul and Islamabad. The reason is very much clear and that’s the unwillingness of Pakistan to stand honestly with Afghan government in fight against terrorists—instead the country (Pakistan) has been supporting and harboring insurgency. Anyways, China has been making efforts and recently brought Afghanistan and Pakistan together on a table to discuss regional issues, but divergences remain here. Despite Chinese attempts at mediation, differences between Kabul and Islamabad still seem persist. Despite of so many others, China made another ambitious move in South Asia last week when it hosted the first trilateral meeting of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they decided to work together on political and mutual trust, reconciliation development, cooperation connectivity, security cooperation and counter terrorism. Moreover, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country is looking at extending their $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to Afghanistan. With inclusion of Afghanistan, the name will be changed into China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CAPEC) which three countries benefits. This would be fantastic once implemented. We support this initiative and also ready to protect it as it will change the landscape of current miseries in the region. We take it as game-changer in South Asia. This could also minimize tension between Kabul and Islamabad. We understand the importance of this mega-regional development project which is beneficial for the entire region. It is a fact that National Unity Government is making all out efforts to convert Afghanistan into crossroad connecting West Asia, South, East and Central Asia. Moreover, we have pinned high hope over Chinese institution for financial and technological help. We need China’s substantial investment in improving our infrastructure. At the same time there is hope that Pakistan restrain from hatching conspiracies to prevent China from inclusion of Afghanistan in this great development project. Pakistan from the very beginning showed its talent of stabbing at the back. Such thinking, if there is any, will be failed with the support of China government, knowing the fact that only economic development and regional connectivity could lead the Asian countries toward path of peace and stability. Surely, Pakistan this time would act beyond immunity for the sake of regional stability. Looking at ground realties, it is unlikely that trust deficit between Kabul and Islamabad will reduce in the near future in the face of Chinese mediation. But hope gives birth to several positive thinking—something we are in. Pakistan should not be worried about opening the door in favor of Kabul in this project; instead it should take it as positive move toward ending anxieties. This corridor will reach Pakistan in soonest time by passing Afghanistan. This will be win-win situation for all the three states. In the past, we always showed support to this economic corridor. We also appreciate China for its push to the Afghanistan peace process, which has been in limbo since longtime, and its position as ‘helpful party’ between Afghanistan and Pakistan.


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