ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The National Security Adviser (NSA) Lieutenant General (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua has said that both Pakistan and Afghanistan have the potential to become trade and economic hub of the World.
While speaking at a special Seminar titled “Peace- a dividend for development and stability in Afghanistan”, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with the National Security Division of Pakistan at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in Islamabad on Thursday, Nasser Janjua said that Pakistan and Afghanistan share a lot of opportunities and have common economic future which has the potential to connect to markets of Europe, Africa and rest of Asia.
The adviser said that nobody has ever invested in peace in the region and that Pakistan will support any effort of peace process which would be Afghan lead and Afghan owned.
Nasser Janjua said that peace is a dividend for both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the region and the World. He said that the two Countries being an economic hub will multiply the economies of the World.
Lt. General (retd) Nasser Janjua said that Afghanistan is heart of Asia region and if there is peace in the heart only then there would be prosperity and stability in the region.
“Unfortunately, children of Afghanistan have seen nothing but war since 1979 whereas Pakistan, after Afghanistan, is the most affected Country hit by instability and insurgencies,” he added.
Nasser Janjua said that the people of Pakistan want to see Afghanistan as peaceful, prosperous and stable Country.
The national security adviser further said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is only half of the dream of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Afghanistan is next half of the dream by connecting whole central Asia and Europe.
The adviser said that Pakistan is the only Country that can multiply the regional economies; and Pakistan needs to work beyond CPEC and connect the whole world. He said that Pakistan has successfully fought the insurgencies and militancy through Zarb-e-Azb and there is dire need to consolidate on this success.
Earlier while speaking in the Seminar, the Executive Director SDPI Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that CPEC would remain a mere road and rail link unless there is peace on the borders especially on the borders with Afghanistan and India.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri said that peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in favor of the region. He said that role of China is of great importance amid environment of mistrust.
The Executive Director SDPI said that China will soon become an economic common denominator in the region and China’s investment in the region would in turn brought more prosperity once peace prevails.
On the occasion, Senior Analyst Imtiaz Gul said that until we engage with Afghanistan out of the present obsolete Planning Commission Regime and create a whole-of-government approach through single-window joint civil-military mechanism, dividends of peace will keep eluding us.
Imtiaz Gul said that the civil and military bureaucracy shall have to prioritize economic and human development as the means to survival as self-respecting nation instead of always looking beyond borders for help and sustenance. He said that there is a need for smart solutions to deal with Afghanistan to bring about peace and stability in the region.
The former Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mehmund said that unwillingness of the United States clearly tell its objectives in Afghanistan, lack of interest and commitment of incumbent government to peace initiatives (status quo) and inability of Afghan Taliban to become a political force are the three major obstacles to peace in Afghanistan.
Rustam Shah Mehmund said that as long as there is presence of the US army, there cannot be peace in the Afghanistan. He said that there should be a broad based multiethnic government in Afghanistan including Taliban because only that can guaranty peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The former ambassador said that Pakistan must factor this in to its foreign policy formulation. He said that China’s role as mediator must be permanently supported and proposed by Islamabad.
The Secretary National Security Division Syed Iftikhar Hussain Babar said that to bring peace in Afghanistan is of paramount importance and priority of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
Syed Iftikhar Hussain Babar said that Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process is of Pakistan’s priority. He said that overlapping regional connectivity cannot be achieved and successful without peace in the Afghanistan.