The recent gathering in Moscow—a trilateral series of consultations between Russia, China and Pakistan had discussed Afghanistan issues without presence of Afghanistan’s representative, where at somehow frustrated Afghan officials and also projected American failure to deliver peace in Afghanistan.
However to recover the slip-up, Moscow would host a meeting in mid-February with representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Iran and India. Russian also offered cooperation to US and NATO member countries to accommodate common goals in Afghanistan.
Such meetings are not novel, in the past several meetings at highest level taken place—but were fruitless. The good examples of the failure of such meetings are the Quadrilateral Coordination Group of Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States and China which held twice in Kabul and Islamabad.
It was not a low-level meeting as the delegations were led by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister, Hekmat Khalil Karzai, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, the then US Ambassador to Afghanistan Michael McKinley and China’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan Ambassador Deng Xijun. Unfortunately, despite such meetings, still Afghanistan’s river weeping red with blood of civilians. The principle cause of such failures was due to hypocrisy of Pakistan in the process.
Now Russia stepped forward to help Afghanistan. As a matter of fact Moscow is on tenterhook as the Islamic State (IS), aka Daesh terrorist group is gaining foothold in Afghanistan. All the participating countries are ensuring their interests in Moscow meeting. Iran also sees Daesh as a big threat. Moscow and Tehran are on the same board.
Pakistan and China is also behind their own interests, and through Moscow meeting they want to ensure security for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC) which is currently under construction at cost of $54 billion. Without doubt, Afghanistan supports CPEC, because it is not limited to Pakistan, it is for the entire region, particularly Central Asia. Afghanistan will be benefiting too. But the focal point of the Moscow meeting should be on security issues and methods how to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. Peace in Afghanistan crucial to peace in all regions.
Time for empty talk is over. Since there is no inclusion of Taliban representatives—as it was in the previous one, so it’s very rare to expect the meeting would give birth to a tangible results. Such meetings seem more as a vicious campaign rather than a gathering to maintain durable peace in the region.
Time is ripe for the Afghan government to take the issue of extremism and militancy with these countries very seriously and made them realize the gravity of the situation.
Moreover, these countries must endorse the Kabul’s stand on Taliban’s capability and safe havens, provided by Pakistan. The bad attitude of Pakistan has been wreaking havoc with the global campaign on war on terror. If the call for the sincere fight against terrorisms fell on deaf ears, the flame of militancy would soon reach to these countries. All parties must stop Pakistan’s tactics of intimidation and terror.