Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Afghanistan – Kazakhstan’s Relation Bridged

Maintaining good and trustworthy relation with all countries feature a significant part of a foreign policy. Admitting the fact the world changed into global village –no country can live and survive in isolation without accommodating some of needs from other countries. Meeting the mutual need of one another turns to be an important facet of foreign relation. The incumbent government must prioritize, establishing and continuing a balance relationship with the countries both regional and extra-regional, given it encompassing gains more than harms. It must be remembered a strong cooperation for sustainable and unchangeable relation of countries are pivotal. Keeping reliable collaborative relation will serve the countries earn development, sustainable stability and harmony in the region and the world whilst keeping the sovereignty of a state intact.

Afghanistan is the 165th largest export economy in the world. In 2013, Afghanistan exported $721 million and imported $7.97 billion. The main imports include peat, refined petroleum products, wheat flour, raw sugar and cement. In addition to the countries Afghanistan import and export, Kazakhstan is potential country that has shown willingness to export wheat and other goods at down tariffs. To strengthen mutual relationship, President Ashraf Ghani paid a two day visit to Kazakhstan to discuss issues relating to economic and political ties as well as regional cooperation with his Kazakh counterpart. Earlier when he landed in Kazakhstan and received a red-carpet welcome by Kazakh officials. Kazakhstan is one of the developed countries in central Asia rich with earthen resources and elementary food stuffs –Afghanistan by maintaining cordial relation can win handsome economic gains. In May and September 2014, Kazakhstan provided assistance worth more than $3 million. The two countries certainly can meet their needs provided the relations clings on mutual interest and cooperation. During this trip, President Ghani has signed agreements on governance, norms and standards, and cultural exchange, fight on corruption, diplomacy as well as wheat purchase from Kazakhstan.

The mineral resource, oil and gas rich country Kazakhstan is characterized by production of 60% economy of the region. Following the fall of Russian republic the Kazakhstan was the last to seek its independence in 1991. Within the length of 24 years it has inclined to the largest and strongest performing economy in Central Asia – therefore it was the first former Soviet Republic to repay all of its debt to the International Monetary Fund. Apart from mineral resources, the country exports large number of other food and clothing items. The other major exports of Kazakhstan include wheat, textiles, and livestock.

Afghanistan’s landlocked status makes it rely on neighbors to facilitate the transit of its trade with the broader global economy. Pakistan has been one of the potential trade partner, Afghanistan looked to for its greater share of imports. The two countries initially signed the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) in 1965.  The APTTA was redesigned in 2010 to allow the transit of Afghan exports through Pakistan to the Wagah border with India, and to the seaport cities of Karachi and Gawadar. Afghan proposals to allow the transit of imports from India through Pakistan have been met with resistance, due to strained relationship between Pakistan and India and Pakistan and Afghanistan in the latest. Seemingly, the differences tend to grow –in the wake of growing attack in Afghanistan, set to boycott using Pakistani goods including food items. Afghanistan at the moment is got to look to other countries for its domestic needs of goods.

Resultantly, the president Ghani’s visit to Kazakhstan by Afghan officials and traders is considered as better alternative for import of foodstuff and reconstruction materials instead of Pakistan. Kazakhstan is one of the biggest wheat producers in the region and Afghanistan imports to meet its wheat need. In a joint press conference with President Ghani, Nursultan Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan will send more than 600 thousand tons of wheat to Afghanistan. In addition to wheat Afghanistan is in dire need of steel for construction purposes. Kazakhstan is a big steel producer and Afghanistan can compensate its steel needs by importing from Kazakhstan. It is stated so for the country has delivered more than 21,000 tons of food products worth $20 million to Afghanistan. During the visit the two premiers talked of means of transporting the wheat from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan.

On the other hand Astana and Kabul also agreed and signed cooperation in the field civil defense, prevention and liquidation of emergency situations. Afghanistan is an underdeveloped country –if struck by natural calamities find it hard to come up with necessary requisites, keeping loses to minimum due to lack of appropriate machinery and trained human resource.  It was duly the Kazakh premier, Nazarbayev further added that due to the fact that Afghanistan is going through very difficult times, we are providing humanitarian assistance asserting to continue to extend its assistance to Afghanistan. Culture promotion programs is primitive to long lived relation of any country. The ratification of an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of culture underlines the depth and warmth of indefinite bilateral relation, sowed. Nonetheless, President Ghani has cautioned Kazakhstan that the Taliban and Daesh are not threat to Afghanistan only but also for the region. Speaking at Nazarbayev University in Astana in Kazakhstan Ghani went on to say that the recent Taliban attack in Kunduz shows that the Afghan people are not in favor of the Taliban and that if the insurgent group wants the support of the people they need to come up with a democratic plan.