Aug 25, 2021, 12:05 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 84448574
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Afghan peace, convergence point of Tehran-Islamabad

Islamabad, IRNA -- As the situation in Afghanistan is evolving the country's main neighbors, Iran and Pakistan, are determined to lay the groundwork for solving the crisis in the country peacefully.

Regional and international efforts continue to help resolve the crisis in Afghanistan created after the departure of Ashraf Ghani's government and the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban.

Afghanistan's neighbors are much active to bring peace and stability in the country as they are directly exposed to the negative consequences of the unrest in Afghanistan.

Accordingly, the Pakistani foreign minister has begun a visit to four countries in the region, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, with a goal of finding a way to help resolve the crisis politically and encourage all Afghan domestic groups to form an inclusive government.

Announcing his departure to Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad yesterday, "We, the neighbors, have a great role to play in helping Afghanistan to reach an agreement."

The Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson yesterday stated that the Pakistani foreign minister will arrive in Tehran on Thursday.

In response to a question about the purpose of Qureshi's visit to Iran, Khatibzadeh said that this visit is at the request of the Pakistani foreign minister and the main agenda of the visit will be bilateral matters and Afghanistan.

Tehran and Islamabad have always emphasized the use of political solutions to the Afghan crisis instead of a military approach, the participation of all domestic groups to advance the peace process and the formation of an inclusive government with all Afghan political forces, and these common positions confirm the importance of Tehran and Islamabad.

Afghan peace, convergence point of Tehran-Islamabad

Political observers in Pakistan described Qureshi's upcoming visit to Tehran as a new chapter in bilateral cooperation and stressed that no country wants more lasting peace in Afghanistan than Iran and Pakistan because the consequences of insecurity, conflict, and political vacuum directly affect the two countries.

Munir Ahmed, Executive Director Development Communications Network (DEVCOM-Pakistan) told IRNA that the Pakistani foreign minister's plan to visit Iran is a timely and wise decision, because the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the main shareholders in peace in Afghanistan.

"Iran-Pakistan friendly and fraternal relations are not subject to any third country. Now that foreign troops are leaving Afghanistan, this is the best opportunity for Afghanistan's political leaders to interact with their neighbors, especially Iran and Pakistan, and on the other hand, the main neighbors,” he said.

He added that post-US Afghanistan is an opportunity for convergence and cooperation between the countries of the region and its surroundings, and of course we must keep in mind that Afghanistan should not again become a safe haven for terrorists and enemies of peace in the region.

Meanwhile participants in an international webinar entitled “Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Challenges for the Region” organized by Development Communications Network (Devcom Pakistan) and DTN emphasized that the United States and its Western allies are the main losers in Afghanistan.

They said that the Westerners also invaded Iraq with the aim of establishing a new hegemony after the invasion of Afghanistan, but to no avail.

Afghan peace, convergence point of Tehran-Islamabad

"The Americans have suffered a tremendous defeat in Afghanistan," said Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, the chairman of the Pakistan Senate Defense Committee, one of the keynote speakers.

He said the US squandered $6.4 trillion on ‘war on terror’ including $2.2 trillion in Afghanistan, almost $100 billion on 300,000-strong Afghan Army and Air Force, which roughly means spending $100 billion every month on the Afghan War for the last 20 years. Despite huge investments the US could not build a strong defense in Afghanistan that is a monumental failure of a super power.

Senator Mushahid urged the countries in the region to forge a regional policy with China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey at the core, plus Central Asian neighbors of Afghanistan, including Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, and call a conference of these countries inviting the USA too for a comprehensive plan for peace and stability in the region.

Lt. General Retd Muhammad Asad Durrani and former head of ISI said that spillover of Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan is expected in Pakistan. The elements shall be taken to confidence and their concerns shall be addressed according to the state’s interests.

He said the Taliban's takeover is not unexpected. They had actually won the negotiations but were waiting for the moment.

It seems that the US has intentionally provided the Taliban an opportunity to take over and lead to a civil war in Afghanistan. Taliban this time have shown maturity and he believed the consensus of the Afghan tribes would play a significant role for the future of the country. 

Afghan peace, convergence point of Tehran-Islamabad

Director South Asian Studies at Tehran International Studies and Research Institute Dr. Somayeh Morovvati in her views said that Taliban in 2021 are not the same as they were in the 1990s, and are more dangerous.

She said their influence would spill over to other countries in the region while future prospects of Afghanistan remain uncertain. It would have adverse consequences as the Taliban have declared the formation of “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” on Thursday. The neighboring countries shall find a way for coordinating closely to facilitate a smooth transition in Afghanistan for regional stability.

Developments in Afghanistan, especially in recent months, have prompted two neighboring countries, Iran and Pakistan, to accelerate each other's diplomatic and political efforts to help bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.

Cooperation and relations between Tehran and Islamabad are definitely a turning point for the further growth and development of regional cooperation and the promise of lasting security and peace in the region.

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