Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, April 18th, 2021

Heart of Asia-Summit: A Good Opportunity for Afghanistan

The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process (HoA-IP) was founded on November 2nd, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. It Asia provides a platform for sincere and results-oriented regional cooperation by placing Afghanistan at its center, in recognition of the fact that a secure and stable Afghanistan is vital to the prosperity of the Heart of Asia region. Afghanistan can utilize this opportunity to create regional and international consensus for its agendas on Afghan Peace talks and counter terrorism issues. 
At the regional level Afghanistan continues advocating for cooperation against confrontation in South Asia, Afghanistan has consistently pursued a foreign policy that promotes regional economic cooperation against zero-sum hedging strategies. Afghanistan strongly considers that the replacement of confrontational policies at the regional level with those of cooperative, win-win partnerships can gradually curtail the existing interstate tensions in the region.
Cooperative policies would enable the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to realize its vision, knowing that South Asia is an extremely young and naturally endowed region where its youths demand jobs and a secure future in a common, interdependent neighborhood. In order to realize this South Asian governments should learn relevant lessons from pre- and post-war European and other countries that should encourage them to make tough but necessary policy choices against the status quo for achieving shared peace and prosperity across the region through economic integration. Afghan government has done its part and continues to do so. Despite the imposed security challenges facing Afghanistan, it has put forth a strategic solution for adoption and implementation by its near and far neighbors: The Heart of Asia–Istanbul Process (HOA-IP) on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan and the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA). Afghanistan takes any measures to help secure regional cooperation for Afghanistan’s stabilization and sustainable development, thereby ensuring region wide stability and prosperity and strives to accomplish them by close strategic partnership with the member states.
Afghanistan should use this opportunity to further strengthen its ties with the Heart of Asia region. It should review the status of existing ties and focus on implementation of the bilateral memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and agreements, which Afghanistan have signed so far. It should also make active measures to expedite the procedural work of the pending MOUs and agreements to be signed, which, together with the signed ones, would encompass cooperation in the political, socio-economic, security and defense, as well as cultural areas. Afghanistan should reconsider its trade policies to increase the volume of its bilateral trade and investments and further stress the importance of establishing reliable air and sea connectivity to change the status quo, thereby deepening people-to-people ties through commercial and cultural exchanges.
In addition to this, Afghanistan President should instruct the Afghan Airlines to study options for a direct Kabul flights to the Heart of Asia Region. It shall be changed to a crucial issue remaining under all sides’ consideration, as Afghanistan and the member states look forward to establishing full-spectrum connectivity toward the achievement of its shared interests – whether in the economic and cultural areas or those in the political and defense realms – as they remain concerned about the growing threats of terrorism, extremism, and criminality in the region.
Afghanistan is “the Heart of Asia,” the gateway to all Silk Roads in all directions: north and south; east and west. It sits right between South Asia and Central Asia, awaiting sustainable peace to be achieved with regional cooperation and support so that Afghanistan can play its natural role as a land-bridge between the subcontinent, Southwest Asia, and Central Asia.
Given its geographic centrality for transit trade, including energy, no major connectivity project can bypass Afghanistan. Afghanistan should highlight its position in the Asia and how the member countries could greatly benefit from a more beefed-up presence in the country and their private sector take advantage of the numerous investment opportunities in the Afghan markets.
Using the opportunity of 9th Hear of Asia Summit Afghanistan should highlight how
Over the past 20 years has been a victim of state-sponsorship of terrorism. As a proxy of a regional state, the Taliban have daily killed and maimed innocent Afghans, while destroying the infrastructure that should help connect and integrate Afghanistan with its surrounding resourceful regions in the north and south for increased trade, business, and investment. Afghanistan should clearly clarify its peace proposal including an early election to open the space for healthy political contest and sharing the power through peaceful means that include all Afghan ethnic and social groups.
Afghanistan’s stability guarantees the regional stability. The current security situation in Afghanistan has insecure all the region. Therefore, members of the 9th Hear of Asia Summit should join hands, pool their resources, and share intelligence to pursue and implement a common counter-terrorism strategy, which doesn’t make any distinction between terrorist networks. Because only through such approach they can free their nations of poverty, and achieving a sustainable regional security and prosperity.