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Editorial: Shared goals

Chief Executive Officer, Abdullah Abdullah, is in China to discuss important issues with the Beijing leadership. His trip will prove a milestone in improvement of ties between Kabul and Beijing. The Afghan CEO and Chinese officials will ponder over ways to deal with the issue of extremism and terrorism which is a serious threat to the regional stability. Growing insurgency is also a threat for mega projects launched by China in Afghanistan and the region such as “One Road, one Belt”. The ongoing violence in Afghanistan can spread to China if leaders of the two countries were unsuccessful in finding common ground to achieve the shared goals.

Listing the common goals, restoring peace and stability in Afghanistan should be priority of the Chinese policymakers because the Islamic State (aka Daesh) is planning to spread its evil tentacles to China and Central Asia. Increasing volume of foreign aid and assistance to the war-hit country will give a boost to the anti-terrorism war.

Only political engagement would do no good to the two countries but military and financial assistance to Afghanistan is import.  Beijing can spend time and resources on asking regional countries to support stable Afghanistan but at the end of the day the game will not be worth the candle because many countries see their interests in war. As we have seen that the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) has failed to convince the Taliban. The QCG failed to prevent the insurgent group from strangling the peace process at the initial stage. After formation of the four-nation group it was hoped that peace and stability would return to Afghanistan soon but it proved a foregone conclusion.

Through its influence in the region, China can give new life to the QCG because in the current condition talks on the peace process will not be different than flogging a dead horse. The Taliban declared their war and rejected the peace talks. The nature of talks shall shift from peace strategy to military action. Those who are not ready to renounce violence shall face the music.

China has took the floor but would need more direct approach on terrorism because certain countries, enjoying friendly ties with Beijing, are supporting militants. Rebel groups have evolved into deadly terrorists organizations with global ambitions. Some of them may have no intention to fight against Chinese or Russian security forces but their support to the Uighur militants and IS can create challenges. Both terror groups are determined to fight to the bitter end like the Taliban.

Therefore, Afghanistan and China share same problems. The two shall work on establishing a joint security mechanism to fight the menace of terrorism together. China’s positive role will go far towards overcoming Afghanistan’s existing problems.

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