Regional cooperation needed to combat terrorism, says deputy foreign minister
AT-KABUL: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Afghanistan on Sunday said that Afghans has not engineered terrorism but it was imposed on them by other countries.
Addressing a one day conference titled “Afghanistan Reconnected Business Take Action to Unlock Trade in the Region”, the deputy foreign minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai said that the war has been imposed on Afghans from the outside which disconnected the transit trade in Afghanistan as well as the whole region.
He said that since Afghanistan is not the creator of terrorism, therefore there is need for regional cooperation to combat terrorism and insurgency.
The deputy minister said that presence of foreign militants including Pakistanis, Tajiks, Chechens, Chinese and Uzbeks in Kunduz proved that terrorism came from outside and Afghans were the real and worst victim of it.
Calling terrorism a complex phenomenon, he said that it could be tackled only through joint regional and global efforts. Khalil Karzai said that it was imperative to combat terrorism and improve trade in the entire region, adding that individual efforts would not improve security and bring stability.
Narcotics smuggling and decrease in transit trade were mentioned by the deputy minister as major challenges that hampered the growth of national economy. He said that Afghanistan lost many opportunities of development and improvement due to these factors, adding that Afghanistan is one of the countries that had been kept away from connecting with the region though it is a bridge between the Central and South Asia.
Workover the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project would start this December, he said.
Afghanistan is trying to be a transit trade hub. Kabul wants to play significant role in the region when it comes to transit trade, said the Director General of Economic Cooperation of the MoFA, Wahidullah Waissi.
Chief Operation Officer at the EastWest Institute of the US, James L. Creighton, said that he has discussed transit trade-related challenges in the region with the presidents of Tajikistan and Pakistan.
Afghanistan can play good and significant economic role in the region through Silk Route which is an important economic route, said the president of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Atiqullah Nusrat.
He said that Afghanistan could play important economic role in growing economy as it has rich natural resources worth over three trillion US dollars.
The conference was held by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Afghanistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries and the EastWest Institute about political and economic cooperation between Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and the Central Asian countries.