Afghanistan has always remained supportive to the regional development and supported various development projects in the region. Afghanistan has a special location in the region, and its development is several areas including urban growth is an irreversible process. The Afghan government is making efforts to take the country out of current problems and at the same time put weight behind important projects in the region.
Afghanistan through different channels always asked countries for regional cooperation in order to launch different infrastructure projects and facilitate transit trade in the region plagued by extremism and insecurity. A stable and improved economy is vital for Afghanistan which is stepping toward development. The National Unity Government is also paying immense interest in it, seeking different ways how to improve the fragile economy situation.
Moreover, Afghanistan also wants to be part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and it’s too reported that China has started the process of extending CPEC to Afghanistan, and stretching it to other neighbors in the Middle East and Central Asian nations as part of its One Belt and One Road (OBOR) Initiative. China can expect a lot of economic benefits by investing in Afghanistan as it has abundant potential of hydroelectricity, and so many other untapped resources.
Iran and Saudi Arabia also showed interest to be part of the project. Moreover, CPEC is the flagship project under the OBOR initiative and has been seen as a game changer in the regional geopolitical discourse. It is a $51 billion network of roads, railways and energy pipelines. Furthermore, CPEC is one of the six economic corridors in China’s hugely ambitious, which aims to link infrastructure across Asia, the Middle East and Europe, and use these facilities to build and connect industrial zones.
Others include the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor and the New Eurasian Land Bridge connecting China to Turkey and other parts of Europe. Meanwhile, frustration comes when Trump administration informed Congress that CPEC passes through Pakistan’s northern areas, which India claims is part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory. “The OBOR goes through disputed territory, and I think that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish the sort of a dictate,” US Defense Secretary, James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee. His speech infuriated Afghan people as we don’t recognize Durand Line as an official boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the dispute areas that Mattis hinting on is part of greater Afghanistan.
The US Secretary has to see the map, and surely he will get idea that the area is belongs to us. Surely, there would be no difference of opinion between Kabul and New Delhi if Pakistan did not exist. Pakistan is the source of all devastation not only in Afghanistan, but to the world. It’s Pakistan’s evil shadow that already affected this mega regional project, benefiting everyone. Removing Pakistan is the only remedy to end all miseries in the region, and we, the Afghan masses suffered too much at the hands of insurgents backed by Pakistani military establishment. Nevertheless, it is very much clear that Afghan people would never accept any kind of words which directly or indirectly tip-off toward reorganization of Durand Line as border. The US officials have to restrain from such words in the future, and must never ignore greater Afghanistan in their speeches.
Afghanistan Times, October 9, 2017