By: Suraya Raiszada
KABUL: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting was held in Tajikistan few days ago, following the Taliban militant, ISIS and other extremist networks still threatening the security of Afghanistan, the region and the world.
The SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting was held at a time when the threats of terrorism, lack of cooperation between the regional countries and the unproductive world countries’ efforts to fight extremist groups are still among the challenges needing to be addressed.
Meanwhile, for its influence in the region, the SCO and some of its members have more influence in the country than some of the major world powers, can impose necessary pressures on terrorist groups and their supporters and be effective in Afghanistan’s economic development.
Some political analysts said the SCO summit could be effective for the success of the Afghan peace process and the destruction of terrorist groups, especially the ISIS.
Afghan government officials say terrorism and extremism are among the biggest challenges facing Afghanistan in the region, and that the regional countries need to work together with Afghanistan to combat the vicious phenomenon.
“Regional cooperation is crucial to the success of the Afghan peace process, because ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan will create a secure atmosphere in the region and in the world,” said Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the country’s Minister of Foreign.
The government of Afghanistan has also said that terrorist groups, especially ISIS, are a global threat and the fight against these groups requires joint regional and global cooperation.
“No doubt that Afghanistan has suffered much from terrorist groups and there are still threats from them, so the SCO member states, which itself is concerned about the existence of the terrorists networks, especially ISIS, can play key role in fighting them regionally,” said Amir Mohammad, a political analyst.
According to the expert, the SCO has an effective role in Afghanistan, peace, war, economic development and trade, and in case the majority of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries are members of this organization, they will be very effective in various fields, especially peace.
Javid Kohistani, another expert, believes that if the regional countries want to prevent the spread of terrorist groups in their soils, they have to stop their interventions and contacts with other local terrorist groups posing serious threat not only to the security and stability of Afghanistan but also to the region and the world.
Kohistani considered the good relations of the Afghan government with some member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an opportunity that the government should use in order to gain the general support of the SCO in Afghanistan.
Fighting terrorist groups, especially the ISIS in Afghanistan, is a good starting point under this difficult time, regional experts believed.
However, the government of Afghanistan made great efforts to restore peace and is trying to form a regional consensus on peace in Afghanistan, and the leaders of the government believe that a regional consensus has now been established on the connection to peace in Afghanistan.
So far, regional countries and the world are trying to play a role in the Afghan peace process, but undeniably, only intra-Afghan talks can be the key to peace in the war-suffered nation.
The situation in Afghanistan is not the same as it was in the 1990s, because the Afghan security forces are now fully capable of providing security and fighting any terrorist group, and defend their homeland with strong morale besides having the international community support.