Taliban’s aim for enclosure in CPEC

September 07, 2021

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the Interior Minister, said on Monday that the Taliban’s aspiration for Afghanistan to be included in the CPEC projects was an important signal. He told a press conference that it is good if the Taliban’s views on China are similar to Pakistan’s. Mr. Rashid described the CPEC as a lifeline for the country’s economy. “Pakistan is proud of its friendship with China, and if the Taliban share those views that is fantastic”.

The Taliban called China their “most important partner” on Saturday, saying Kabul looked to Beijing to rebuild the country and exploit its rich copper deposits as the war-torn country faced pervasive hunger and economic collapse. Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said the group supported China’s OBOR initiative which aimed to connect China with Africa, Asia, and Europe via an extensive network of ports, railways, roads, and industrial parks.

The minister said that the suicide bombers in the Gwadar suicide bombing on August 20 and another one targeting the FC convoy on Mastung Road in Quetta on Sunday had been identified and that they had come from Afghanistan. On August 20, a suicide bomber blew himself up near a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals in Gwadar, killing two boys and injuring four others, including a Chinese national, while four people died and 20 were injured in a suicide attack near a checkpoint on Mastung Road in Quetta on Sunday.

Mr. Rashid asserted that India had 68 training camps in Afghanistan, all of which had become permanent. Pakistan supports peace, development, and economic success in Afghanistan, according to the minister, who also stated that “peace in the two countries is intertwined.” In response to a question, the minister stated that Pakistan would decide on its side of the Torkham and Chaman borders, while the Taliban would decide on theirs. He made it clear, however, that the Pakistani government would decide on those who entered the country without proper documentation.

He claimed that the Taliban had convinced Pakistan that Afghan territory would not be used against it, and that Pakistan had similarly told its neighbors. “However, there are BLA, Daesh, and other terrorist organizations in Pakistan, but our army has the capability to deal effectively with them,” the minister said. Mr Rashid said Gen Faiz Hameed influenced Indian media for two days during the ISI chief’s visit to Kabul. “It appeared as if he went to Delhi rather than Kabul”.

India had been defeated in Afghanistan and it was the “only country in the region that has been humiliated on multiple occasions.” Mr. Rashid responded to a question about internal politics by saying that opposition leaders Bilawal Bhutto, Shahbaz Sharif, and Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s politics had failed, that their dreams would never come true, and that the government would finish its term.

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