Afghanistan should never be allowed to be used by terror outfits: China
Beijing: Security situation in Afghanistan is a prerequisite for its development, China said on Monday as it highlighted the consensus at the recent Dushanbe meeting of the regional countries that the war-torn nation should never be allowed to be used by terrorist organisations.
Replying to a question on the 4th Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan held in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe on May 27, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian during a media briefing here said that Afghanistan is at a critical stage of turnaround from chaos to stability.
“Security is the prerequisite for the development of Afghanistan. China is ready to work with regional countries as always to strengthen communication and coordination, build consensus and forge synergy to help the country achieve lasting peace and stability,” he said.
He said the joint statement issued at the Dushanbe meeting, besides opposing the politicisation of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, also pointed out that the international terrorist organisations should never be allowed to use the Afghan territory to hide, train, plot and sponsor any terrorist activities targeting any country in the region to make sure that Afghanistan will become hotbed, harbour and source of terrorist forces.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval took part in the Dushanbe dialogue where he said India was and is an important stakeholder in Afghanistan, and called for enhancing the capability of the war-torn country to counter terrorism and terrorist groups which pose a threat to regional peace and security
Doval said that India has historical and civilisational relations with Afghanistan and New Delhi has always stood by the people of Afghanistan and it will continue to guide India’s approach.
“The special relationship with the people of Afghanistan over centuries will guide India’s approach. Nothing can change this,” Doval told the meeting which was attended by his counterparts from Tajikistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan and China.
China was represented by the External security commissioner of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Cheng Guoping.
The dialogue is aimed at firming up a common approach for practical cooperation in confronting increasing threats of terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August last.
India had hosted the dialogue in November 2021 in New Delhi which was attended by eight nations including Iran and Russia.
Pakistan, which considers Afghanistan as its protectorate and has been maintaining that India has no role to play in the war-torn nation after the Taliban seized power, skipped the Dushanbe meeting like it did in the last edition of the meeting hosted by India in November 2021.
While it closely coordinated its Afghan policy with all-weather ally Pakistan, China, which shares narrow border with Afghanistan, has been insisting on the Taliban interim government to crackdown on the separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) active in its volatile Xinjiang province.
Reports say cadres of ETIM which closely operates with Al-Qaeda were present in Afghanistan along with Islamic State militants.
Zhao said Cheng in his speech at the meeting stated that Afghanistan is the heart of Asia and the development of its security situation will have major impact on regional security and stability.
He highlighted the Global Security Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping which stressed the importance of upholding the new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and jointly upholding the world peace and security, Zhao said.
Doval’s remarks that “India was and is an important stakeholder in Afghanistan” assumed importance as Pakistan, which views Afghanistan as its protectorate, has been maintaining that India has no role to play in the war-torn nation.
India has focused on infrastructure, connectivity and humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan over the decades.
After August 2021, India has already provided 17000 MT of wheat out of a total commitment of 50000 MT, 500000 doses of Covaxin, 13 tonnes of essential life saving medicines and winter clothing as well as 60 million doses of polio vaccine.