ISLAMABAD - Pakistani and Afghan foreign affairs experts agree in their view that China can play a proactive role in Afghanistan because of its policy of non-interference and quest for enhanced economic engagement.
Afghanistan's new president to visit China
The political watchers have also attached high hopes to the upcoming visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to China this month.
Ghani is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese leaders and will also attend the ministerial conference of the Istanbul Process, Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference on October 31.
The Heart of Asia process that was launched in November 2011 in Turkey aims to rouse regional co-operation for security and development in Afghanistan and its near and extended neighbors.
Chairman of Pakistan's Senate Defense Committee, Mushahid Hussain, says of all countries, China probably has the most credibility and capability to promote peace, security and stability in Afghanistan.
"Unlike Russia or the United States, China carries no historical 'extra-baggage' and unlike Pakistan, Iran, Turkey or the Central Asian Republics, China has stayed away from all previous conflicts or civil wars in Afghanistan, therefore it is not tainted in any way as far as the Afghan people are concerned, and, unlike the increasingly bankrupt West, China has the financial resources to sponsor much-needed investment in key sectors of Afghanistan's development," Hussain told Xinhua.
Dr. Davood Muradian, Director General of the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies, believes that China's role will be important in the sense that China is Afghanistan's largest most prosperous and most important neighbor of Afghanistan.
"Therefore we expect a corresponding contribution from China to Afghanistan's stability and prosperity. We really expect China to act as it is powerful neighbor of Afghanistan," Muradian told Xinhua in Islamabad where he attended the Afghanistan-China- Pakistan trilateral dialogue.
"China is one country which does not have hegemonisti, territorial and strategic ambitions. It has only economic and commercial ambitions in Afghanistan which is not objectionable," former Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan, Rustam Shah Mohmand says.
Mohmand says that China can also play a key role in Afghanistan 's peace and reconciliation process because of its friendly relations with Pakistan and Iran, the major key players in Afghanistan.
"China is coming with a very clear slate. China's role now in the world and in the region is recognized by everybody. So I think it is time that China also gets involved in the peace negotiations which are based on the assumption that there would be no foreign militants in Afghanistan," the former ambassador told Xinhua in Islamabad.
A senior Pakistani analyst and writer Hasan Askari says that Pakistan, Afghanistan and China can work together to contain terrorism as "China has concerns about terrorism in Xinjiang region and those elements are to be found in Pakistan tribal region and also in Afghanistan."
"China can also help to defuse misunderstanding and tensions that develop between Pakistan and Afghanistan because it has good relations with both and both trust China," Askari said.
He said China can contribute to Afghanistan's reconstruction as unless there is reconstruction and economic development, the people will not have much hope for the future and Chinese can contribute to economic development and reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Posted on 25-Oct-2014