The Kabul Times.
Editorial

China’s peacemaker role in Afghanistan

China is the world’s second largest economy and the most populous country. It has a huge human capital and a wealth of technical knowhow. During the past 17 years, it has contributed to the development and rehabilitation of Afghanistan and has initiated many meetings to seek ways for bringing peace in Afghanistan.
Soon after becoming Afghanistan’s president in 2014, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani paid an official visit to China reaffirming his country’s commitment to sustainable friendly relations between the neighbors and emphasized on strategic ties with China in the very long term. 
Here on Saturday, Afghanistan, China and Pakistan inked a tripartite deal for cooperation in war on terror, where China has urged the Taliban to enter peace process.Addressing a joint news conference with his Afghan and Pakistani counterparts in Kabul on Saturday, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said the three sides agreed to jointly fight militant groups.
“Next year, Afghanistan would celebrate its 100th Independence Day, and a peaceful settlement of the conflict by then would be a good gift for the Afghans who have suffered for up to 40 years of war and instability”, he added.
Meanwhile in a meeting President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on advancing counterterrorism, cooperation, promised that China would support the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, adding his country would ask Pakistan to use its influence and convince the Taliban to join the peace process and end the war in Afghanistan.
The President also thanked Chinese minister for signing the MoU on fighting terror and sought his country’s cooperation on strengthening a regional peace consensus.President Ghani said Afghanistan had sought all-round cooperation from China on peace agreement, as lasting stability would pave the way for implementation of the Beijing-funded development projects in the country.
Indeed, China has played a constructive role in bridging the gap between Kabul and Islamabad and consolidating trilateral relations mainly in recent years. Chinese officials have constantly pushed for mutual trust, peaceful coexistence and friendly relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, aiming to prepare the ground for face-to-face negotiations between Kabul and the Taliban.
Pakistan is believed to carry much weight in pressuring the Taliban to come to peace negotiating table and Afghan government must not downplay this role. Hence, with a friendly relation between the two countries, the reconciliation process will be more likely to bear the desired result – this is what China endeavors for.
Meanwhile,China’s leaders understand that leaving Afghanistan out of regional development, trade and infrastructure would weaken the entire region. Of course, that kind of integration requires better security, both in Afghanistan and in Pakistan, and better relations between the two countries. One of the most pressing issues for China would seem to be a serious, private conversation with Pakistan about tackling the entire spectrum of extremism within the country itself.

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The Kabul Times.