CPEC to also lift Kabul’s fortunes, says envoy

Islamabad :The multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would not only bring prosperity to Pakistan, but also help lift millions out of poverty in war-torn Afghanistan and restore its role as a regional leader, Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai said on Wednesday.

In a public talk at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad, Afghanistan’s outgoing envoy said that the project would help restore Afghanistan’s status as a leader in the region instead of a country which serves as a platform for proxy wars.

Mosazai pointed out how his country had an intertwined destiny with its eastern neighbour in a number of transit trade and energy projects which were vital for Pakistan including the TAPI gas pipeline and the CASA-1000 transnational power project.

He highlighted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s December visit to Islamabad and how there was a need to build strong linkages between the two countries. “The relationship between the two countries was not only one of shared cultures and beliefs but also of blood which indicate a strong reason for bringing both countries closer together,” he said.

Speaking about the recent meetings on restarting the Afghan peace process, the envoy added that the war in Afghanistan had no military solution.

“After the Murree talks proved futile, another effort is now being made in the form of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group dialogue,” Mosazai said.

Mosazai claimed that majority of militants who fled operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas had joined the Afghanistan chapter of Da’ish. “About 60 to 70 per cent of militants who fled Pakistan during operations in Mohmand and Orakzai went on to join Da’ish in Afghanistan,” he said.

Mosazai reassured that Kabul will not allow anyone to use its territory against any country.