China-Pakistan to cooperate closely on Afghanistan

Pakistan and China said they will cooperate more closely on Afghanistan and called on all Afghan stakeholders to agree on a comprehensive ceasefire and find negotiated political settlement

Jul 25, 2021
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Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Pakistan and China said they will cooperate more closely on Afghanistan and called on all Afghan stakeholders to agree on a comprehensive ceasefire and find negotiated political settlement.  

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi held the third session of the foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, China, and issued a joint statement on Saturday, reported Dawn.

According to a joint statement, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate and support an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process for the early realization of a peaceful, stable, united, and prosperous Afghan­istan, which would firmly combat terrorism and live in harmony with its neighbors.

China is looking for increasing its footprint in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign troops. The Taliban’s return to the government is certain, either through a peace settlement or military take over. The proximity of the insurgent group to Pakistan might also give it an added advantage in the future. 
  
In case, the west turns its eyes from Afghanistan citing the Taliban’s disregard for human rights, Beijing is well-positioned to fill that gap. China’s desire of extending the ambitious Belt and Road Corridor to Afghanistan isn’t hidden to anyone.

However, China is also equally concerned about the growing instability 

Both nations also condemned the recent Dasu attack where nine Chinese workers had been killed. 

Beijing is also concerned over the growing instability in Afghanistan after the departure of foreign troops from there. Islamic militants from its restive Xinjiang province, which borders Afghanistan’s Badakshan, are reportedly operating in the region. 

Days after the Taliban captured a vast swath of territory in the country’s north, a senior Taliban delegation visited China, assuring Afghan soil won’t be used against neighbors. 

Suhail Shaheen, in a recent interview also termed the issue of the mass detention of Muslims in China’s Xinjing an “internal issue.” 

(SAM)

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