Pakistan, China discuss extending CPEC to Afghanistan

FO statement says two sides exchanged views on the political and security situation in the war-ravaged country

Kamran Yousaf July 18, 2022


The senior officials of Pakistan and China on Monday discussed the possibility of extending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan in order to promote economic development and prosperity in the war-ravaged country.

The idea to extend the flagship programme of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was discussed during a meeting between China’s special envoy on Afghanistan Yue Xiaoyong and Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood at the Foreign Office in Islamabad.

An official statement said the two sides exchanged views on the political and security situation in Afghanistan, humanitarian assistance by Pakistan and China to Afghanistan, and other matters of mutual interest.

“In the context of regional connectivity, both sides exchanged views on extension of CPEC to Afghanistan to promote economic development and prosperity,” read the statement.

The foreign secretary underscored Pakistan’s commitment to a peaceful, stable, prosperous and connected Afghanistan. He highlighted the provision of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan including Pakistan’s relief efforts in the wake of devastating earthquake in eastern Afghanistan on June 22, 2022.

Also read: CPEC to be extended to Afghanistan, other countries: China

The foreign secretary also stressed the importance of de-freezing of Afghanistan’s foreign reserves and facilitation of banking operations to ease the economic hardships of the Afghan people and help build a sustainable economy.

The foreign secretary further underlined the importance for the Afghan side to address the international community’s expectations regarding inclusivity; respect for the rights of all Afghans, including girls’ education; and effective counter-terrorism measures.

He underscored that the international community’s focus should not be diverted from the dire situation in Afghanistan owing to events taking place elsewhere.

Also read: As West ponders aid for Afghanistan, China and Pakistan quick to provide relief

While emphasising continued constructive engagement and practical cooperation with the interim Afghan authorities, the foreign secretary highlighted the central role of platforms such as Troika Plus and Six Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan in advancing shared goals.

Chinese Ambassador Yue Xiaoyong appreciated the important and constructive role played by Pakistan in the context of Afghanistan. Both sides agreed that only a peaceful, stable and connected Afghanistan could act as a fulcrum for enhanced regional trade and connectivity.

Earlier, the Chinese special envoy held talks with his counterpart, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq. Both sides took stock of the evolving situation and discussed humanitarian assistance, infrastructure development, as well as trade and transit initiatives.


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