Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Focus on Vital Interests Instead of Deciding at Neighbors’ Behest

Afghanistan has always tried to dispel concerns of the neighboring countries and not to enter into any agreement or partnership that could harm the neighbors' national interests. It has also tried to avoid any policy and behavior that could deal any harm to these intrusive neighbors. Now, Afghanistan is going to decide about the agreements on long-term strategic partnership with the United States of America, which includes the possibility of establishment of the U.S. permanent military bases in the country. On Thursday, April 21, the Iranian consul general in Mazar-i-Sharif, Syed Zeenati, said that Afghanistan's neighbors have their concerns and reservations about the permanent US military presence in the country. He also accused the U.S. of using the Central Asian countries to achieve its objectives in the region.

But Afghanistan's deputy foreign minister, Javed Lodin, has said that "Afghanistan has committed to Iran not to strike any agreement that could harm the neighbors." On his return from a two-day visit to Tehran, Javed Lodin said he had been directed by President Hamid Karzai to discuss the proposed strategic cooperation deal with Iranian authorities.

Afghanistan always takes into account the interests of its neighbors but unfortunately they never care about Afghanistan in their behaviors. Afghanistan must not continue to suffer from insecurity, instability and lack of peace caused by interferences by these so called neighbors just to avoid harming their interests. They continue to serve their national interests by harming any peace process in Afghanistan. It is high time to come out of naivety and decide what can best serve our national interests, not the interests of those who benefit from our suffering, pain, poverty and attempt to keep us in this situation.

The purpose of establishment of permanent military bases is to help Afghan National Security Forces to fight internal and external threats. The interests should be mutually observed. But Afghanistan's hostile neighbors have never reciprocated Afghanistan's good will for the good relations and brotherly and friendly neighborhood. They have always acted in a self-serving fashion and meddled in Afghanistan's affairs. Only a strong peaceful and stable Afghanistan can compel them to stick to the principle of mutual observation of interests and Afghanistan must get to that stage by focusing on its own vital interests instead of doing what the neighbors want.