by Raheela Nazir
ISLAMABAD, May 13 (Xinhua) -- As a strong defender of world peace and close neighbor of Afghanistan, China can play an active role in bringing back stability, peace and prosperity in the war-torn country, experts said.
Unlike the United States, China supports sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries around the globe including Afghanistan. It supports peace and reconstruction of Afghanistan with the intention of helping Afghan people in fighting terrorism, which posed a major threat to regional stability and beyond, said the experts and academics during a webinar with the theme of China Position Paper on Afghanistan on Friday.
Experts from various countries including Pakistan, China and Afghanistan attended the event organized by the Asian Institute of Eco-Civilization Research and Development, an Islamabad-based think tank.
Speaking on the occasion, Saleem Khan Safi, a senior Pakistani journalist and expert on Afghan affairs, said that a peaceful Afghanistan is crucial for regional socio-economic development and connectivity as well as for the welfare of the Afghan people, underlining that all the stakeholders should work together for the prosperity and unity of Afghanistan.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, is ready to be promoted to extend into Afghanistan under trilateral cooperation which would promote economic development and prosperity in the region, he said.
Criticizing the United States and its allies for leaving Afghanistan hastily and in a chaotic condition, Safi said that without consolidating Afghanistan or making arrangements for intra-Afghan reconciliation, the U.S.-led forces pulled out from Afghanistan, creating a severe security and humanitarian crisis.
Not only that, the United States even abandoned Afghan citizens who worked and assisted them and put their lives at risk, said the Pakistani expert, adding that the United States also seized overseas assets of Afghanistan while imposing sanctions, leaving the lives of Afghan people in shambles.
Deputy Minister of Economy of Afghan interim government Abdul Latif Nazari said that Afghanistan has been facing economic problems as the United States has blocked Afghanistan's money and imposed unilateral sanctions and pushed the country into poverty.
"We want to engage with our neighbors, regional and global economies constructively because we believe that the economic growth and sustainable development in Afghanistan are impossible without interacting and cooperating with the neighboring regional countries," he said.
Appreciating China's position on the Afghan issue and its support for a safe and peaceful Afghanistan, Nazari said that the interaction between Afghanistan and the world will be continued.
China's effective engagement and cooperation with the Afghan interim government is based on the principle of mutual trust, respect, and equal consultations, without any interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs, Zhou Rong, Senior Fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China said.
He said that China, Pakistan and Afghanistan should work together to enhance strategic communication, interactions and political mutual trust for the betterment of all parties and bring benefits to the people of the three neighbors and other countries in the region.
The trilateral cooperation on security and counter-terrorism needs to be enhanced further as economic development is not possible without solving security issues, he added.