• Friday 20th September 2019

Trilateral meet on Afghanistan ends with happy note; Is Kashmir the largest prison in the world?

  • Published on: September 11, 2019



  • By NP Upadhyaya

    China’s State Counselor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a short trip to Pakistan the previous week.
    Minister Wang’s trip to Pakistan has come close on the heels of the Indian annexation of Kashmir last month August 5 and thus this meet in between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China must have some intrinsic meaning.
    This trip assumes more significance in that it was primarily the Chinese initiative that the Kashmir issue as demanded by Pakistan got its easy entry into the United Nations Security Council debate, August 16, 2019.
    Apart from the China-Pakistan bilateral dialogue that may have brought the two “iron brothers” more closer to each other, then the fresh visit of the Chinese Minister Wang Yi also brought the neighboring Afghanistan for a tri lateral dialogue which as reports claim, ended to the satisfaction of the three participating nations: China, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    During the bilateral meet of Pakistan and China held on September 7 made it clear that the “unilateral” actions by India in Kashmir would further “complicate” the situation.
    FM Qureshi and Wang held delegation-level talks after the Chinese foreign minister arrived in Islamabad to participate in the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue.
    The Foreign Office in a statement said the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and regional matters, particularly the situation in Kashmir.
    The Chinese foreign minister Wang has reaffirmed China’s support and reiterated opposition to any unilateral action as well as the measures that could further complicate the situation, media sources have said.
    This should mean that China shall back Pakistan in any eventuality that takes shape in the region and beyond including obviously Afghanistan.
    All put together, the upcoming UN general assembly will be exhilarating in that the issue of Kashmir aggression by India will in all likelihood draw the attention of the civilized countries of the world when they meet later this month at the UNGA in New York.
    In fact, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had also landed in Pakistan to attend to the trilateral dialogue in between China, Pakistan and war torn Afghanistan to find a peaceful solution to the Afghani conflict so that peace and stability prevails in and around Afghanistan. The tri-lateral conference ended with a happy note, it has been learnt.
    An almost satisfied Afghanistan with this tri lateral dialogue hosted by Islamabad, perhaps willingly allowed China to help establish peace and stability not only in the troubled country, Afghanistan but also in the entire region including Central Asia.
    Lauding the timely happening of the tri lateral conference, the ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan in a joint statement issued dated August 8, 2019, have said that “China, Pakistan and Afghanistan reiterate their support for a politically negotiated settlement of the long-standing conflict in Afghanistan”.
    A joint statement which had been issued after the conclusion of the third round of China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministers’ dialogue held on Saturday said the three sides (China, Pakistan and Afghanistan) had been closely following recent developments in the region and taken note of the talks between the U.S. and Taliban, so writes the Yeni Safak-World new agency from Islamabad.
    The joint statement further adds that the trilateral meet “Hope(s) the intra-Afghan negotiations including direct negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban begin soon and lead to full cessation of violence bringing lasting peace for the people of Afghanistan.
    The foreign Ministers attending the tri lateral conference said that “They underlined the need for an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process leading to a comprehensive agreement for durable peace and stability in the war-torn country.
    Notably, China has benefitted from this three country meet in that the joint statement talks of advancing connectivity under the China’s BRI initiative which in part says that, “The three sides reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening their relations, exploring new ways of deepening cooperation, including advancing connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) and other regional economic initiatives”, the joint statement further added.
    Mind it that the Belt and Road Initiative is a Chinese mega project that is associated with the very prestige of President Xi Xinping.
    This meet in many more ways than one has also helped Pakistan to convince Afghanistan that Pakistan favors the prevalence of complete peace and stability in Afghanistan and that peace in Afghanistan has a direct impact on the peace and stability in Pakistan and the entire region.
    Pakistan and Afghanistan must understand that “neighbors” can’t be changed.
    If Nepal can survive with India then why Pakistan and Afghanistan can’t live together in peace if both so desire?
    The message of the trilateral meet was that “Pakistan and Afghanistan have to live in peace because disturbance of peace in the region shall affect both countries as they were the immediate neighbors.
    PM Khan and the Afghan rulers must accommodate each other. This is the compulsion.
    In sum, the Chinese, Pakistani and Afghani foreign ministers have stressed on the need for and inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process to bring in peace and stability in Afghanistan for all time to come.
    This means that China has entered into this region which in effect shall link China with yet another vast expanse of Central Asian landmass.
    For the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, CPEC, peace in Afghanistan is more than necessary for China to enter into the Central Asian region through Gwadar port city in Pakistan.
    The benefits for Pakistan are very much attached with the prevalence of peace in Afghanistan. The completion of the China assisted and initiated CPEC projects perhaps shall bring in positive dividends to Pakistan in a surprising way.
    Most importantly, the CPEC will by this time already have generated employment opportunities for the unemployed youths of Pakistan.
    The generation of employment opportunities in Pakistan may bring down the youths from flying to Gulf countries.
    A lesson must “to be learnt” by the thug communist- Nepal rulers.
    With China’s entrance in this strategic region, the Indian establishment has been left high and dry and if copied President Trump’s quote then India will be limited to building “Libraries” in Afghanistan.
    The next round of this trilateral meet shall be held in Beijing, claim media sources.
    In the meantime, almost in a surprising move President Donald Trump has called off separate secret meetings planned with the Taliban and Afghanistan’s president at Camp David.
    Citing a Taliban-claimed deadly attack in Kabul last week, Trump also said he was cancelling the talks between the US and the Taliban that started almost a year ago in Qatar in an effort to end the 18-year war in Afghanistan.
    In a statement on Sunday, the Afghan government praised the “sincere efforts of its allies” and expressed its commitment to work with the US “to bring lasting peace”, writes Shireena Qazi September 8, 2019, for the Al Jazeera.
    While the US appears to have backed out from the talks but yet a Taliban representative in Doha, who is part of the team that had been negotiating with US officials since October last year, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that the group has called a meeting to discuss its next move, without reacting further to Trump’s move.
    President Ghani too favors resumption of the failed talks. He has already made the offer.
    With the US declining talks with Taliban and the latter still expressing its desire to continue with the peace talks with the US, the politics appears to have become bit complicated.
    It is here that both the US and the Talibans need the active support and the mediatory role of the Pakistani establishment in resuming the failed talks once again and bring in tranquility in the region and make the US forces’ exit a normal one.
    Media reports being collected from the US reveal that Pakistan has urged the United States and Afghan Taliban to re-engage as there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
    No wonder then Pakistan has already taken an initiative in that the commander of the United States Central Command (US Centcom), General Kenneth F McKenzie Jr, this Monday called on Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa here at the Pakistan Army’s headquarters.
    This event is significant in that this meet has taken place after US has canceled the talks with the Afghan-Talibans.
    After the abrupt cancellation of the talks, the Pak Foreign Ministry said on Sunday, “we have learnt about the cancellation of President Trump’s meeting with the Taliban and Afghan Government representatives in Camp David”, writes Islamuddin Sajid on September 8, 2019, for the Asia/Pacific news agency, a Turkish news agency most likely.
    The Turkish news agency states further that Pakistani foreign ministry believes that there is no military solution to conflict in Afghanistan.
    In the meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet Jeria on Monday September 9 said she is “deeply concerned about the impact of the Indian government’s recent actions in Jammu and Kashmir, and urged the Narendra Modi government to ease the lockdown”.
    Jeria made these remarks in her opening statements at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
    The Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan will put their respective views on Kashmir crackdown.
    “I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people’s access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained. It is important that the people of Kashmir are consulted and engaged in any decision-making processes that have an impact on their future.”
    Madame Jeria, in her statement made the same day from the same venue also spoke about the release of the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.
    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights even took note of the Indian actions taken in Assam.
    She states, “The recent National Register of Citizens verification process in the northeast Indian state of Assam has caused great uncertainty and anxiety, with some 1.9 million people excluded from the final list published on 31 August”.
    By time this story goes to the print the meet of the Human Rights Council in Geneva will have already ended.
    For the Road: The USA Today magazine dated September 7 in its opinion column writes that “If the world doesn’t intervene to stop the brutality in Kashmir, all will suffer”.
    Writes Professor Riffat Hassan for the USA today that “a million Indian soldiers have made Kashmir, the only Muslim –majority state under Indian control, the largest prison in the world”. Madame Riffat Hassan is an internationally acclaimed Islamic scholar and a social activist. That’s all.

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