By Ahsan Zaheer
For progress and stability of any country, peace is must in its neighboring countries. Otherwise you can never ignore the threats coming from neighboring war torn country.
If peace comes to Afghanistan, Pakistan will be the most beneficiary than any other country.
Pakistan’s future economic policies rely on peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan government and military both are trying their best for the complete peace and stability in Afghanistan. Many terrorists’ activities and attacks which took place in Pakistan are from Afghanistan soil, most of these attacks were sponsored by India. India will never want a peaceful Afghanistan and it will keep supporting its proxies to create instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Remember, Pakistan never wants an unfriendly government in Afghanistan — to be precise, it does not want a government that is friendlier with India than it is with Pakistan.
Pakistan being an important neighboring country of Afghanistan played a vital role in bringing amity and stability through facilitating peace process. It was the effort of Pakistan government and military which convinced Taliban for the table talks with US and former Afghan government. Washington acknowledged Pakistan role in facilitating February 2020 U.S. agreement with Taliban and intra-Afghan negotiations.
When Afghan Ambassador Najibullah Ali Khil called on Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters (GHQ). The COAS reiterated that “peace in Afghanistan meant peace in Pakistan”. “Our sole aim is to help Afghans achieve a peaceful, sovereign, democratic, stable and prosperous Afghanistan”.
Pakistan has been trying hard to dispel the false image of being a country associated with terrorism. Despite Pakistan being accused of “lies and deceit” in 2018, by President Trump, Pakistan played a key player in the intra-Afghan peace talks.
Peace and stability in Afghanistan means peace and stability in Pakistan. It means economic growth, economic engagement and interaction for both countries. Pakistan has suffered the most from the Afghan conflict. Islamabad and Kabul will benefit once there is peace and when the dust settles on the other side of the border.
Peace in Afghanistan is the need of the hour not only for Afghanistan but for the whole region. Pakistan efforts to bring peace and stability to the Afghanistan are in the greater regional interests. Political and economic stability with peace in Kabul is in greater interest to Pakistan.
Beside Pakistan, China is hopeful and waiting patiently for the peace in Afghanistan so that China can invest in Afghanistan in different projects. Once Afghanistan has peace, the country will go into an era of economic stability. “Peace in Afghanistan will enable greater connection between South Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eurasia. Afghanistan could connect with the rest of the world using Pakistan’s ports. “And through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Afghanistan could also benefit in terms of infrastructure.
Pakistan may be helped in its Afghan goals by the enormous economic power of China. Beijing’s chief concern in Afghanistan is that it should not be a base for Uighur rebels against China. However, China has also agreed in principle to make billions of dollars of investments in Afghanistan, including the development of a giant copper mine at Aynak, and of oil and gas reserves in the north of the country.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan said that “as peace in Afghanistan will give Pakistan access to the Central Asian Republics (CARs), it wanted peace there more than any other country in the world.” “We have already signed an agreement with Uzbekistan for a railway line from Mazar Sharif to Peshawar, which will reach Pakistan via Afghanistan.”
Pakistan hopes that a regional coalition of itself, China, Russia and Iran will support the Taliban against ISIS, ensure that the Taliban themselves do not back international extremism, including an Islamist revolt in Pakistan, and refrain from backing Tajik, Uzbek and other ethnic forces against the Taliban state.
Over the last few decades, Pak-Afghan relationship has become complicated. There has been growing distrust, and accusations of cross-border terror facilitation. However, there seems to be calmness in relations recently. This is a great opportunity for Pakistan to strengthen the ties that may have weakened over the years. For that, Islamabad needs to adopt a strategy of smart diplomacy.
Ahsan Zaheer is a freelance journalist and a researcher from Islamabad. His email id is [email protected]