Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, February 26th, 2020

How Multilateral Mechanism is Important for the Peace Progress of Afghanistan

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How Multilateral Mechanism is Important for the Peace Progress of Afghanistan

The security situation in Afghanistan has been sharply strained since U.S. President Donald trump called off talks with the Taliban. Military clashes between Afghan government forces and the Taliban forces have intensified. Afghan government forces have stepped up their offense against the Taliban in recent days. Up to now, fighting has raged in at least 10 provinces, including Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz and Badakhshan. With the escalation of fighting, there will probably be more civilian and the armed casualties. The situation in Afghanistan which involves different countries, tribe faction and religious conflicts is becoming serious and complex. The influence of war in Afghanistan has spilled over the land and spread into other neighboring countries of Afghanistan, exerting a bad influence on regional security and stability. Facing the urgent situation in Afghanistan, international community, especially the regional powerhouses, honor the responsibility to build a peace mechanism with international multinational participation to cope with Afghan issues.
18 years have elapsed ever since 2001 when U.S. troop launched the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. There is no dialogue or cooperation mechanism between Beijing and Washington over Afghanistan issues, and even all neighbouring countries related to Afghanistan have not been aware of importance of solving Afghanistan issues jointly. All stakeholders are drawing their own route maps according to their own scripts, and countries including Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan adjacent to Afghanistan are affected by refugees, drugs and terrorists issues since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. As Afghanistan has not recovered peace and stability yet, neighbouring countries have been troubled by Afghanistan refugees, drugs and terrorists, especially Pakistan. From 1979, Afghanistan has nearly become the largest original place of refugees in Pakistan. A report issued by UNHCR shows that up to now, 1.3 million Afghanistan refugees are still living in Pakistan. Pakistan has formulated specialized route maps to handle Afghanistan refugee issues and it’s hoped that Afghanistan refugees can return to Afghanistan as soon as possible so as to relieve heavy economic and social pressure on Pakistan. It’s noteworthy that China, Russia, India, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan have their own route maps to solve Afghanistan issues. However, route maps of different countries have not completely solved Afghanistan issues, and even contradiction exists between their route maps. To some extent, all countries are inclined to cope with Afghanistan issues according to their own route maps, as a consequence, the peace and stability of Afghanistan can’t be realized for a long time. Afghanistan issues has become the largest unstable factor troubling the entire region. It’s gratifying that all countries in these regions are not troublemakers and they all hope that Afghanistan can recover peace and stability as soon as possible. Especially Beijing more hopes that Afghanistan can recover peace and stability in a short period so that solid foundation can be laid for deepening economic and trade cooperation. China has seen persistent efforts made by U.S. in Afghanistan and China hopes that Afghanistan can recover peace and stability with the assistance of the international community as soon as possible. In the eyes of Chinese scholars, China and U.S. have many common interests over Afghanistan issues and can reach a consensus over recovery of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
In terms of community governance, China has entirely different experience from western countries like U.S., U.K. and France in community governance. As a country deeply threatened by terrorism, China has developed feasible social management system in order to cope with terrorist threats, and terrorist activities have presented continuously reducing trend in recent years. Features of China’s experience lie in that it can mobilize most common Chinese people to participate in anti-terrorism operations so that terrorist activities can be timely found and eliminated in initial phase. If U.S. and its NATO allies can deeply take a part in community governance in Afghanistan, and there is a mechanism which actively supports the government in each village and community in Afghanistan and China’s experience in anti-terrorism operations can be taken as a reference, then Afghanistan issues will develop towards a benign direction. From the angle of regional cooperation mechanisms, the optimal method to solve Afghanistan issues is that all countries related to Afghanistan interests should sit together. At present the only regional cooperation mechanism which can exert important effect is Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Except Turkmenistan which doesn’t join in Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a permanent neutralized state, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and other countries are all members of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and they are also countries related to Afghanistan interests. Indeed, if U.S. doesn’t welcome Shanghai Cooperation Organization, another scheme is to reconstruct a new platform or mechanism namely “Afghanistan Peace talks” to gather countries like U.S., China, Russian, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan to jointly solve common concerns over Afghanistan. All sides related to Afghanistan issues should stay calm and sit down to have sincere dialogue with one another to solve problems. Even though all stakeholders may have their own route maps to solve Afghanistan issues, every stakeholder should follows the principle of Afghan People First and takes Afghan people’s interest into consideration. Afghanistan issues has been lasting for decades and cannot be solved by one or two countries. Multinational cooperation and effective settlement mechanism can be the optimal  route map to Afghanistan issues. Afghanistan has been plagued by war and invasion for a long time. Afghan people are eager for peaceful and secure life. Moreover, a peaceful and stable Afghanistan conforms to the interest of the world. With its natural geographical advantages and bountiful energy storage, Afghanistan shows promise to be the model of development among South Asia and Central Asia countries. China sincerely hopes that Afghanistan can get rid of war and poverty with the joint effort of international community as soon as possible.

Ting Zhao, Scholar, Yunnan University, P. R. China; Shiping Tang & Yuting Zhou, Scholar, Kunming Institute for advanced Information Studies, P. R. China; Di Liu, Scholar, Yunnan Vocational College of Land and Resources, P. R. China

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