A strong emerging bloc

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By Senator Rehman Malik

Pakistan has a great geographical location and has been helping its neighbours and other friendly countries and contributing towards regional peace. The progress made by Pakistan before the USSR and Afghan war was tremendous and was among the top developing countries of the region in various fields. Our airline, railways, and shipping routes proved to be the best and Pakistan had been providing technical assistance to other countries for establishing airlines, railways, and shipping etc.

Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works was a masterpiece catering to shipbuilding, ship repair and general heavy engineering. After being trapped in the USSR and Afghan war, the Pakistani economy heading towards a negative and war brought a big crunch and retarded the developing speed of the county in various sectors. This brought the GDP down, the growth rate fell and inflation went up leading to irreversible setbacks. Sadly, the Afghan war brought misery, not only to itself but devastations to Pakistan and left long-lasting effects on our society and growth. It introduced us to Kalashnikov culture, sectarian clashes, extremism and terrorism, and access to all kinds of narcotics become very easy.

I wish that Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China may create a bond of tri-brotherly ties and start working in an era of a new bond of friendship as they stand interconnected with natural land routes and the natural bond of mountains. Let us learn from China which managed to remain away from the infection of war and controlled terrorism and in fact, China paid more attention to the economy and developed various sectors including agriculture and industry on the fast track and steered clear from dirty international politics. Today, China is on the top with an economy worth trillions of dollars, and whereas Pakistan’s economy stands on the negative side it is still sliding down due to huge international debts.

China and Pakistan have contributed together and have helped the international communities on various fronts and international crises. China is contributing a lot to the development of African and other developing countries. The Afghan conflict has been used by the west as a tool to keep this part of the world under pressure and to destabilise the region. This destabilisation is affecting Pakistan and Afghanistan adversely and needs to be rectified for the sake of the stability and prosperity of this region. I have been a student and contributor to the growing great relationship of China and Pakistan and I feel that there is room to create a powerful torque and potential for working together in the peace process of Afghanistan. Pakistan, Afghanistan and China have the huge potential to work in various fields of common interest and emerge as very strong political and economic forces with their God-gifted natural resources.

In view of the above, I enlist the following areas of cooperation between these three great nations;

A file picture taken on September 7, 2019 shows Pak Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi delivers his address in a joint press conference held following discussions as Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi look on, on Saturday, in Islamabad.

Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China may sign a tri party MoU to work together. The three countries have potential in mineral, agriculture and other fields of mutual benefit. These three countries have a natural alliance and connectivity in the form of roads and other links, especially CPEC can bring a great revolution in the development of Afghanistan as China and Pakistan together can play a role in reconstructing Afghanistan. In a trilateral agreement, they can have this new opportunity to work together in the interest of this region. This troika MoU can also end the ever-continued foreign interference in Afghanistan. The three countries must sign an MoU to spread a railway line from Beijing to Afghanistan via Pakistan and these three great nations can have a quantitative economic, business,and cultural bond in the larger interest of Afghanistan and co-signatories.

I firmly believe that the trilateral relations between Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan will bring amazing effects on their economy, the stabilisation of Afghanistan and ensuring regional peace. I wish that the above proposal will be taken seriously by the leadership of three countries in the interest of the region as it will not only ensure the stability, progress and development of Afghanistan but will also eliminate terrorists and the misuse of Afghan soil by India.

The views expressed are solely mine and do not necessarily represent the views of my party.

(The writer is a PPP Senator, former Interior Minister of Pakistan, and Chairman of think tank “Global Eye” and Senate Standing Committee on Interior. He can be reached at: rmalik1212@gmail.com, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik)