ISLAMABAD: 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. Both have the potential to become trade and economic hub of the world, said Lieutenant General (retired) Nasser Khan Janjua, National Security Advisor.
He said 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. Peace is a dividend for both Afghanistan and Pakistan, the region and the world. The two countries being an economic hub will multiply the economies of the world, he added.
National Security Advisor said this 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 here on Thursday at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services, (PIPS).
Speaking at the occasion, Lieutenant General (retired) Nasser Khan Janjua said 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. He said the people of Pakistan wanted to see Afghanistan as peaceful, prosperous and stable country.
Nasser said 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. He said Pakistan is the only country that can multiply the regional economies; and Pakistan needs to work beyond CPEC and connect the whole world. Pakistan has successfully fought the insurgencies and militancy through Zarb-e-Azb and there is dire need to consolidate on this success, he added.
Speaking earlier, Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI, said CPEC would remain a mere road and rail link unless there is peace on the borders especially on the borders with Afghanistan and India. He said peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in favor of the region. Role of China is of great importance amid environment of mistrust. 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.
Imtiaz Gul, senior analyst on the occasion said 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. 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 there is a need for smart solutions to deal with Afghanistan to bring about peace and stability in the region.