Connections between Afghan Situation and CPEC

By Zaheerul Hassan

Since 1st June 2017, in four blasts more than 140 killed and over 500 individuals were injured in Afghan Capital “Kabul”. Security elements, women and children were the victims of terrorism. In the first blast more than 90 killed and 400 people injured. On the very next day, the funeral of the same individuals was hit by three consecutive suicidal attacks that led to 24 deaths and more than 100 injured. In these blasts Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of Afghanistan, foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani and several senior Afghan officials and politicians were present for the funeral of Salim Ezadyar, the son of a senior Afghan senator Mr. Alam Ezadyar (the deputy speaker of the upper house of Afghanistan’s Parliament) was among the protesters shot dead by police at violent demonstrations in Kabul on 1st Jun 2017.

Including Pakistani, many foreign diplomats were also injured in addition to missing of many Afghani citizens. The local inhabitants showed anger and felt mourn over the killing of their loved ones at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. Kabul’s residents are increasingly angry at the chronically fragile security situation. Unfortunately, these unlucky people went to fetch a loaf of bread for their children and later that evening, their dead body is sent back to the family.

Anyhow, just after the blast, the Taliban issued a statement in which they categorically denied to take the responsibility and also condemned the excessive loss of civilian life. On the other hand, Afghan establishment, just started molesting Pakistani supreme intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) instead of tightening and beefing up Kabul’s security, tracing out culprits behind the attacks and taking care of Injured persons. In this context, Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency has alleged that with the help of ISI, the Haqqani network, an affiliate group directly integrated into the Taliban has executed planned blasts in Kabul city. But it was denied by the Pakistani foreign ministry and also strongly condemned the suicidal attacks in Afghan capital. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa openly condemned the terrorists’ attacks against innocent Afghan people.

Even on 6th June 2017, Pakistan Army Chief has shown solidarity with Afghan nation in a special Corps Commander Conference in GHQ headed by him. According to Inter Services (ISPR) press release, the conference reviewed regional security environment in the backdrop of recent terrorist incidents in Afghanistan. Forum expressed solidarity with the Afghan people and Security Forces on loss of precious lives and vowed to continue its support and cooperation with Afghanistan in fight against terrorism and militancy. The forum took exception to the unwarranted accusations and threats against Pakistan in the aftermath of Kabul blast. The forum also concluded that instead of blaming Pakistan, Afghanistan needs to look inward and identify the real issues. The conference also very clearly conveyed the message to her adversaries that the interior and exterior boundaries would be defended with full strength and also reaffirmed to continue supporting regional peace and stability. According to South Asia Terrorist Portal (SATP) since 2003 to 4 June 2017 Pakistan lost 21760 innocent civilians and 6742 security sacrificed their lives in elimination of more than 62136 terrorists.

Moreover, Pakistan is suffering foreign sponsored terrorism whose bases are very much located inside Afghanistan. Despite all this, for the last 37 years Pakistan has looked after over five million Afghan Refugees. Out of these in the last two years around 4.2 million Afghan refugees have returned back voluntarily under the UNHCR-funded Voluntary Repatriation programme. But UNHCR and Pakistani officials have stated that some 1.34 million registered refugees still live in Pakistan. Estimates say there are a further half million undocumented refugees in the country. In short, instead of acknowledging favours and sacrifices of Pakistan they start alleging its supreme intelligence agency ISI for deteriorated security situation in Afghanistan.
Earlier, on the same day, Mr. Alexey Yurevich Dedov, Russian Ambassador to Pakistan called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at GHQ and discussed the matters related to regional security and enhanced military cooperation particularly in defence and training areas.

However, various observers, analysts and opinion makers all over the globe have given many opinions about the recent Kabul’ blasts. Some believe that insurgent groups like Daesh or ISIS were behind the high-profile attacks and some stated that Kabul was knocked down as revenge for the execution of 11 Taliban militants ordered by President Ghani on 31 May 2017. But before reaching to the conclusion and giving any final verdict one must evaluates and take the over view of likely objectives behind terrorists’ activities in the holy month of Ramadan, prevailing security and political environment of the country.

Politically speaking, land locked Afghanistan being governed by various tribal heads and groups, those are culturally, ethnically and religiously do not have any cohesiveness and unity amongst them. Major Afghan portion of population are forced to spend the life below the poverty line. Lack of jobs, illiteracy, less medical and civic facilities are common features of society. Anyhow a ray of hope to for the inhabitants’ lives was felt in May 2017, when delegation consists of Pakistani ruling and military elite and Chinese officials visited Kabul and tried to convince Afghan counterparts for joining CEPC project. According to sources Afghan government has shown positive signal of joining to the said project. Likewise, Taliban groups although fighting against Americans’ troops and ruling Afghan establishment were indeed willing, not to create any hindrance in trade corridor in addition to guarantee the safe transit of goods from Central Asian States and Russia via CPEC.

In this regard, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan agreed to “advance practical cooperation” in various areas of mutual interests, mutual benefit and regional economic integration under the framework of the One Belt and One Road (OBOR) Initiative. Purpose of holding talks was to have cooperation among Troika for conducive peace, stability and developing Afghanistan and region. Here, in Pakistan and China everybody is convinced that The CPEC is expected to be a “game-changer” in South Asia that was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping 2013. for being the flagship project of the ambitious OBOR initiative, also called as BRI.

This multimillion project was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. The project is going to connect china’s Xinjiang region to Pakistani Gwadar Port It will help in developing infrastructure, establishing of Industrial zones. The CPEC is a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure development project that aims to connect China’s Xinjiang region to Pakistan’s Gwadar port. Therefore, due to heavy influx of money CPEC has drawn regional and global attention. Almost more than 54 countries going to get benefit from CPEC. Thus, poor Afghan nation will be one of the major beneficiary since trade routes to Russia and Central Asian states has to connect through Afghanistan to main CPEC route to Gwadar Port. The remunerations due to provision of transit facility, establishment of factories and development of infrastructures will help Afghanistan to bring fortune for its inhabitants. Therefore, government decision of joining CPEC is absolutely correct and will definitely lead to prosperity and help in getting rid of Indian and American influence.

These ruling elite only has effective control over one fourth of the country while the rest of the Afghanistan is being run by local Taliban commanders. Around 8,400 US military staff and 5000 soldiers from NATO ally countries are currently based and operated in only in major cities. In March, Pentagon pressed President Donald Trump to send fresh reinforcement troops to deal with the deteriorating security situation. The purpose of continuity in deployment and reinforcing of troops is to look after future US interest in the region and counter growing Russian, Chinese and Pakistani influence in Afghanistan.

Indian intelligence RAW in collaboration to CIA is also active in Afghanistan. Its major task is to support those militant and separatists’ groups who are fighting against Pakistan and also covertly keep on taking steps in further deteriorating Afghan security environment. Regrettably, most of the high ranks of The National Directorate of Security (NDS) including top brass of civil Afghan’s government are playing in the hands of CIA and RAW to operate against Pakistan and damage local and regional Afghan interests. Nonetheless, USA is not feeling comfortable since then. Afghanistan and Russian accepted to join CPEC feeling direct threat to American regional interests.

Therefore, factually stating CIA, RAW and NDS are responsible for the recent Kabul blasts, continuous deteriorating security situation, creating instability and making efforts to stop Afghan government from joining CPEC. Regardless to the past, now Afghan government has to realise that prosperity of its nation lies in restoring peace, political stability, securing region, good relations with neighbours, stop anti Pakistan elements to use its territory against neighbours and last but not the least has to say Goodbye to Trump forces. Let the nation to select their representatives through free election.

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