Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan’s Rehabilitation

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The protracted Afghanistan crisis takes another stride as Taliban’s seize the power in control in the aftermaths of withdrawal of the U.S troop from Afghan soil. The resurgence of Taliban Empire revamped the geopolitical architecture of the region whilst brewing world order for another paradigm shift as US regional influence witness a major blow, simultaneously offering  China opportunity to further extend its regional  economic endeavors by filling the vacuum through its BRI initiative. In retrospect, the majority of political pundits, experts across the globe shared disquieting predictions regarding security implications for both neighboring and regional countries. Notwithstanding  with pessimistic  assertions of western  regimes, the recent and rather abrupt withdrawal of the US-led coalition from Afghanistan in a broader spectrum can be utilized as the transformational regional transition of power dominated by the imperatives  of geo-economics. From the global trends perspective, the vertex point of global economic gravity shifts towards China and East Asia, the contours of a new economic and political geography are also becoming visible with enhanced connectivity among western China, Pakistan, and Central Asia. Henceforth, the conflict transformation in Afghanistan offer opportunities through creating vacuum of economic dependency alongside the security vulnerability. Pakistan being the next door neighbor to the war-torn country has involuntary role to play to address the formidable challenges rising from the unfolding situation of the Afghanistan in foreseeable future.

Being a responsible state, Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to support the provision of humanitarian relief to the Afghan people under the UN umbrella, as well as the continuity of our in-kind assistance to Afghanistan. We will also continue to facilitate the UN in its humanitarian relief efforts by providing logistical and other support through Pakistan.

Ensuring sustainable development and promoting respect for human rights requires political stability and peace in Afghanistan. And peace cannot consolidate unless Afghanistan is provided the necessary economic and fiscal space.

First, the domestic situation of Afghanistan holds direct implications on Pakistan due to longstanding geographic, economic, cultural and ideological proximity. Secondly, the enduring success of reoriented Pakistan’s geo-economic vision is directly linked with prosperity and progress of Afghanistan. Second, the complex interdependence   and great power politics made Pakistan a significant actor in shaping up the dynamics of regional geopolitical architecture, in particular the rehabilitation and development of Afghanistan.

Third, majority preexisting constraints of Pak-Afghan bilateral ties dwindled after the internal changes in Afghanistan’s governance structure. Under the Taliban regime Pakistan has opportunity to reinstate much vibrant and pragmatic policy that can secure national interests.

Pakistan’s efforts for the Afghanistan’s rehabilitation and development can be foreseen into short and long term aspects. For short term remedies, since Taliban’s takeover, Pakistan has a similar stance, as peace and stability in Afghanistan is vital for the growth and prosperity of not only Pakistan but the entire region. It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has opted a pragmatic policy vis-à-vis Afghanistan’s subtle situation. The interface of its foreign policy calculus so far whirls around the humanitarian assistance coupled with effective diplomatic maneuverings by engaging the key stakeholder’s for setting the prospects of stable and peaceful Afghanistan. Pakistan has expressed for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, non-interventionist approach in its domestic affairs; whilst highlighting that the future of Afghanistan should be determined by its people. Islamabad so far has urged international community, including all of Afghanistan’s neighbors, to develop an inclusive approach to respond to the new realities in Afghanistan and restore peace and stability. Pakistan at all the diplomatic fronts through bilateral/ multi-lateral engagements highlighted    The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as well as other UN agencies crucial role in ensuring timely and expedited delivery of humanitarian aid. Pakistan has also called for restoration of Afghanistan’s access to its financial resources that is viable to combat further exacerbation of the economic soft patch.  In coordination with the UN agencies, Pakistan has established a “humanitarian air bridge” for the provision of supplies of essential food and medical items to Afghanistan. For peace and stability, Pakistan has emphasized that Afghanistan’s territory should not be allowed to pose a threat to other countries, cautioned against the possibility of incitement and role of spoilers. Pakistan also remains available as a part of the Extended Troika format on Afghanistan that includes Pakistan, China, Russia and the US, and has a crucial role to play for Afghanistan’s future. Despite vitiated situation, Pakistan resumed the bilateral cross-border trade between two states for the crisis management. Pakistan also agrees to facilitate the UN in its humanitarian relief efforts by providing logistical and other support through Pakistan.

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