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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

China supports Ghani’s peace initiative

News Desk |

China expressed its full support to the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s recent initiative to hold unconditional talks with the Taliban. China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hua Chunying said on March 2, 2018, “China always supported the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned extensive and exclusive reconciliation process.” She added that China appreciates all efforts of reconciliation process made by Afghan government.

Ghani had unveiled his initiative to hold talks with the Taliban on the first day of “Kabul conference titled “Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation” on February 28, 2018. Around 25 countries participated in the conference.

Read more: Afghan government’s Kabul Process: Do the political elites really want peace?

Afterwards, Ghani offered a pact to recognize the insurgents as a legitimate party in negotiations in order to end 16 years war and also pointed out to do necessary amendments in Afghanistan’s constitution aiming at accommodating the Taliban. The Taliban responded, “Our country has been occupied, which has led to an American-style supposed Afghan government being imposed upon us.” It is pertinent to emphasize here that only through dialogue; the differences of all parties can be addressed.

Peace and stability in Afghanistan is vital for development in South Asia. Each regional country and extra-regional country is concerned with the deteriorated situation of Afghanistan because all these countries are pursuing their development projects; China is working ambitiously on its Belt & Road initiative while regional development projects involving other countries include Turkmenistan-Afghanistan- Pakistan-India project (TAPI), Iran Pakistan Pipeline (IP) project and the development of Chabahar Port.

August 30, 2016, a suicide bomber pushed the gates of the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing himself and wounding three other people.

Afghanistan keeps central position in all these development projects because of its geographical position. Therefore all these states throw weight behind any initiative to hold peace talks with the Taliban pursuing their own national interests in order to rehabilitate Afghanistan. In this regard, Ghani’s initiative may prove effective to pacify the Taliban but the latter’s (Taliban) consent is desired.

As far as China is concerned, one of the reasons of its support for negotiations with the Taliban is that it fears Afghanistan and greater Central Asia might be used by radical Islamists as a fertile ground to breed instability in Xinjiang province of China. As of August 30, 2016, a suicide bomber pushed the gates of the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing himself and wounding three other people. This blast had surprised China and made it to play more active role in rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

Moreover, China needs a stable neighborhood to advance its economic interests under its New Silk Road initiative in order to expand its trade towards Europe. Afghanistan can play an important part in China’s aspirations. In this regard China’s time tested friend Pakistan is also willing to facilitate Afghan Peace Process.  

Read more: Kabul Process: Afghanistan’s refusing to admit the buck stops home

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif said on Feb 28, 2018 in the back drop of Ghani’ s initiative that the Afghan Taliban was a political entity and Pakistan was ready to facilitate peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban. He tweeted, “Our support and prayers for the success of President Ashraf Ghani’s peace initiative. There are no better solutions to issues faced by Afghanistan than those spearheaded by Afghans themselves.”

He added that the prevailing situation in Afghanistan is an impediment in regional peace and harmony. The Taliban are the part of social fabric of Afghanistan as well as political reality. Without their participation, there would be no easy way for the stability of the region.