Published Date: Jul 3, 2018
Stable Afghanistan for regional peace
The key to a socio-economically stable Afghanistan lies in sustained engagement of the West while Pakistan continues to play a supportive role in promoting peace in the region, said David Vestenskov from Royal Danish Defence College.
Mr Vestenskov stated this while speaking at a special seminar on ‘Western engagements in Afghanistan,’ organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
Mr Vestenskov said that only a region-led and region-owned peace process is a sustainable solution for peaceful and stable Afghanistan. He said that the first step in that direction was improved and strengthened relations between Islamabad and Kabul. He said the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan have immense potential to contribute to the welfare of the people in a war-torn country. He observed that the coordination between the west and neighbouring countries of Afghanistan to reach a shared vision for the entire region needs to be strengthened.
Dr Talat Farooq from Strategic Vision Institute said that trust is the main currency which is in very short supply in the region. First there is need of bridging trust deficit among all stakeholders through constructive engagements and respect. She said that holding Pakistan responsible for someone else’s failure in Afghanistan is factually wrong, irresponsible and not going to help in Afghan peace process. She stressed that Pakistan should be engaged constructively and should be treated as sovereign state.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Joint Executive Director, SDPI, said that it is important to create economic interdependencies between Afghanistan and Pakistan where mega infrastructure projects like TAPI pipeline, CASA-1000 electricity project are important for economic growth and trade prospects in the region. He said both countries need to revise the old Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement and also move towards signing of preferential trade agreement.