Afghanistan doesn’t want to be in isolation: Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan could connect regional countries through the Silk Road and build a joint future through its primitive sources, President Ghani said on Friday, the second day of the sixth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA-VI) summit in Kabul.
Titled “The Silk Road Through Afghanistan”, the summit was inaugurated on Thursday with delegates from more than 30 countries in the region and beyond and some 40 regional and international agencies including World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in attendance.
Officials from the Presidential Palace, the Chief Executive’s office and representatives also attended the two-day summit that at the Foreign Ministry’s building here.
Speaking on the occasion, President Ghani said today’s Silk Road was full of entrepreneurial and commercial innovation's potential and was one of the primitive points which could connect the regional states and still remained the only point to connect the countries including Afghanistan.
He said the Silk Road was a sophisticated financial and dispute resolution system with nodal cities and once a major economic source for the people.
Historians say the road was one of the important trade routes around 2500 years ago. The road connected Kabul with the north and from there it went to China and western Herat province. It was the only route used for import and export of edibles and decoration products from India to China.
Afghanistan shares a 85-kilometer border with China in Wakhan district of northeastern Badakhshan province. Zebak and Wa Khan areas of Badakhshan connect Afghanistan with Pakistan, Tajikistan and China.
Afghanistan remained a connectivity point for years, but the emergence of powers in the 19th century and in the new imperialism-era, Afghanistan lost everything to serve as a centre of contacts and relations for the outside world, the president said.
Afghanistan turned into a hub of conflicts in the 21st century and it was hoped the conflict would end in 50 years and Afghanistan would become the economic hub in the heart of Asia and as Asian continental economy, he said.
“We should realise the balance in problems and opportunities, identify our big partners with an eye on the future in order to have an upper hand on geographical and political hurdles and advance towards future. Everything that creates problems for governance, knowledge, policies and progress should be identified and resolved.”
Referring to Afghanistan’s geographical situation, the president said if insecurity was overcome, tourists from across the globe would pour into the landlocked country.
“We have water resources which we can give to our neighbours except China. There are dams and canals as huge resources of Afghanistan and fortunately we have more than 200 projects in area of irrigation.”
He said Afghanistan had rich mineral deposits including iron ore and gold and 17 of 14 of the world’s rare minerals were found in Afghanistan.
The president said Afghanistan did not want to be in isolation and the Kabul administration had a strong political will for the country’s development and prosperity. The president said they welcomed investments of regional countries in Afghanistan and insisted that the public and private sectors needed to work together.
About terrorism, the president said the message of terrorists was hopelessness and their focus remained on killing innocent people and destroying cultural heritage. “We should have the courage to speak on behalf of many Muslims countries that Muslims strongly reject barbarism and terrorism.” He said a peaceful, prosperous and stable Afghanistan would benefit the region and the world at large
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