Afghanistan, Pakistan lack common plan to fight common enemy: Musazai
“We want a close relationship with Pakistan. We have common interests in more areas than we can count. We are facing numerous common challenges especially from terrorism and extremism,” Musazai told Global Times, a Chinese media outlet.
The diplomat said Afghanistan supported the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and would like to link up with it and facilitate the linking of Central Asian countries with the corridor.
“Perhaps it is time for us to enhance cooperation in areas that can benefit our people. One missing element in the region is that we are facing a common enemy, namely terrorism and extremism, but we lack a common plan to fight this common enemy.”
He said Afghanistan, Pakistan and China through their constructive and positive engagement could find solutions to some of the vexing challenges they faced.
Musazai said Mansour, who was recently killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan, had been rejecting calls to arrive at peace talks and instead intensified attacks, particularly on civilians.
He said Mansour’s removal from the scene should be viewed as an opportunity by everybody, especially those groups and leaders within the Taliban who believed in reconciliation.
“We hope they grasp this opportunity and issue a positive message of engagement with the peace process,” said the former ambassador to Pakistan, saying the Afghan government had extended an olive branch to Mansour to choose the path of peace.
“We had pursued those efforts through multiple channels including the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) mechanism, of which China is also a key member. Unfortunately, Mansour, until the very end, did not give a positive response to the call.”
Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG)
About QCG meetings, Musazai said it was a mechanism that still continued and Afghanistan valued China’s role and contribution to the QCG work very highly. “Pakistan has an essential role to play and we hope that support will be forthcoming.
Impetus of Afghanistan-China relations
Mosazai said Afghanistan and China enjoyed extremely close ties and cooperation in all dimensions of their relationship. “There is political cooperation between Afghanistan and China and we provide support to each other at the political level bilaterally, regionally and internationally. “
Musazzai said Afghanistan today and throughout history has held a central and key position in the region, linking South Asia with Central Asia, and China and the rest of East Asia with Iran and the rest of West Asia including the Middle East.
“We would like to benefit from every piece of investment that is made in infrastructure and connectivity development in this region.”
He said Afghanistan enjoyed the importance of Afghanistan-China relationship, which he called as irreplaceable. At the same time, Kabul has an extraordinarily close relationship with India, “a country with which we also share millennia of ties and government-to-government cooperation.”
“We have never and will never look at the two strategic relationships that Afghanistan has with the two important neighbors in the context of any competition.”
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