China’s mediation offer

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Developments like terrorist activities in Afghanistan and Kabul’s relations with Islamabad have been focus of attention not only by Pakistan but also other countries including China and Russia besides USA. Talks at various levels have constantly been held between Pakistan and Afghanistan from time to time as Islamabad believes a stable and peaceful neighbouring Afghanistan is good for its own security and stability.
Latest exchange of views in this regard at highest level of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit held in Astana, Kazakhstan, early this month. At this closely watched important meeting, both sides had agreed that levelling of allegations against each other will not work and instead they should work to do away with trust deficit. Pakistani and Afghan leaders during their deliberations had also agreed upon in principle for developing a mechanism for redressal of each other’s concerns.
Recent developments viz a viz Afghanistan and durable peace there such as revival of Quadrilateral Coordination Group framework and China’s willingness to mediate between Pakistan and Afghanistan are indeed quite welcome in the context of peace and stability in the region and elimination of terrorism and militancy in all manifestations. Needless to mention here China is Pakistan’s time-tested, trust-worthy, all weather friend and Beijing also wants to have good relations with Afghanistan as well. According to the reports, China will facilitate negotiations between the two neighbouring countries for rapprochement and in this regard, the Chinese Foreign Minister is going to visit Kabul and Islamabad during next couple of weeks.
Both China and Russia enjoy considerable influence in the region and their interest in ensuring peace, stability and elimination of terrorism in the area is quite appreciable and hopefully all positive efforts of Beijing and Moscow in this regard will be bearing fruit in due course of time.
M Z RIFAT
Lahore