By Shah Khalid
For decades, Afghanistan has been marred by conflict, instability, and unrest, with profound implications not only for its own people but also for neighboring countries like Pakistan. Achieving lasting peace in Afghanistan is crucial for regional stability, economic development, and international security. This article explores the advantages of peace in Afghanistan, particularly for Pakistan, while highlighting the importance of addressing international concerns such as inclusivity, girls’ education, and preventing the use of Afghan soil for terrorist activities.
Peace in Afghanistan opens up new economic avenues for Pakistan. The two countries share a long border, and stable conditions would facilitate increased trade and commerce. Afghanistan’s strategic location can serve as a gateway for Pakistani goods to reach Central Asian markets, providing a boost to Pakistan’s economy.
The porous Afghan-Pakistani border has been a source of security concerns for both countries. Peace in Afghanistan would lead to enhanced border security and cooperation, reducing the flow of militants and illicit activities across the border. This is essential for Pakistan’s own security and stability. For years, Pakistan has hosted millions of Afghan refugees who fled the conflict in their homeland. Peace in Afghanistan would create conditions for the safe and voluntary return of Afghan refugees, easing the burden on Pakistan’s resources and infrastructure.
Peace in Afghanistan is a catalyst for regional connectivity and economic integration. Pakistan, as a key player in regional initiatives such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), can benefit from access to Central Asian markets through Afghanistan. This would boost trade, investment, and economic growth in the entire region. Pakistan has actively participated in regional connectivity projects, including CPEC and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. A stable Afghanistan is integral to the success of these projects, as it provides a secure transit route for energy resources and trade. A peaceful Afghanistan contributes to regional stability and cooperation. It encourages diplomatic dialogues, joint initiatives, and the resolution of long-standing disputes among neighboring countries. Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace is aligned with its vision of a prosperous South Asia.
International concerns regarding inclusivity under the Taliban government are valid. Pakistan supports a comprehensive dialogue that involves all Afghan factions, including the civil society and the Taliban government to have a balance set up. Inclusivity is essential for a sustainable peace and stability. Moreover, girls’ education and women’s rights must be safeguarded in Afghanistan’s transition to peace. Pakistan advocates for the protection of these rights and recognizes the positive impact of educating girls on societal development. Preventing the use of Afghan soil for terrorist activities is a shared international concern. Pakistan, having faced the challenges of terrorism itself, emphasizes the importance of a stable Afghanistan that does not harbor extremist elements threatening global security.
Achieving peace in Afghanistan requires collective efforts from the international community. Pakistan is committed to facilitating peace talks and cooperating with regional and global stakeholders to ensure a stable Afghanistan. Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is unwavering. It recognizes the interdependence of regional countries and is dedicated to promoting peace, security, and development in the region. The advantages of peace in Afghanistan extend beyond national borders. A stable and prosperous Afghanistan contributes to regional growth, security, and cooperation. The world should seize the opportunity to support Afghanistan’s journey toward a brighter future.
The advantages of peace in Afghanistan are numerous and far-reaching, with significant implications for Pakistan and the entire region. Economic opportunities, improved security, and enhanced connectivity are just some of the benefits. Moreover, addressing international concerns related to inclusivity, girls’ education, and counterterrorism efforts is crucial for a lasting peace. Pakistan remains committed to playing a constructive role in facilitating peace talks and supporting Afghanistan’s transition to stability and prosperity. The collective efforts of the international community are essential in realizing these shared goals.