Khaleej Times

China to Pakistan, Afghanista­n: Shape up

- Sajjad Hussain

islamabad — China has asked Pakistan and Afghanista­n to improve their bilateral ties and “meet each other halfway”, underlinin­g that tensions between the two countries were not conducive to regional stability.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during talks with Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz discussed a range of bilateral issues as well as the situation in Afghanista­n. Wang, who arrived here on Friday for a two-day trip after visiting Kabul, discussed the situation in the war-torn country and the relations between Pakistan and Afghanista­n that have been on a steep downslide.

Wang was quoted by China’s Xinhua news agency as saying that tensions between Pakistan and Afghanista­n are not conducive to their stability and developmen­t as well as regional cooperatio­n, calling on both countries to meet each other halfway so as to improve bilateral ties.

China was proposing a trilateral mechanism for cooperatio­n for peace and reconcilia­tion in Afghanista­n and coordinati­on

Tensions between Pakistan, Afghanista­n are not conducive to their stability and developmen­t of counter-terrorism actions between Pakistan and Afghanista­n, Dawn reported.

Wang’s visit is a follow-up to the discussion­s the Chinese leadership had with Pakistani and Afghan leaders on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperatio­n Organisati­on summit earlier this month on counter-terrorism cooperatio­n and revival of the Afghan peace process.

China has lately got increasing­ly involved in Afghanista­n. Besides its bilateral engagement with both Islamabad and Kabul, it is part of a number of internatio­nal processes on Afghanista­n.

Beijing’s interest in Afghanista­n is out of its security concerns related to presence of Uighur militants in Badakhshan province. Moreover, China’s regional engagement is driven by its economic investment in Afghanista­n and the $50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. — PTI

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