Afghanistan elections: Pakistan needs to focus on geo-economic strategy says Khattak

ANP senator analyses what poll results in the central Asian country mean for Pakistan.


Our Correspondent May 27, 2014
ANP Senator Afrasiab Khattak speaks at a seminar on Afghanistan’s presidential election. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD:


With a shift in the leadership of Afghanistan around the corner, Pakistan needs to shift focus from geo-strategic to geo-economic interests in its neighbour amid the changing regional scenario.


Senator Afrasiab Khattak was analysing the first phase of Afghanistan presidential election 2014 at a local hotel on Tuesday. He was invited in his capacity as a member of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Parliamentary Friendship Group in the Senate.

“Afghanistan, the last tribal society in Asia, is the most important country for Pakistan,” he added. Khattak ruled out the chance of Abdullah Abdullah becoming a threat to Pakistan due to his pro-India credentials.

“Although he may have good relations with India, all the people of northern and eastern Afghanistan have to come to Peshawar and Quetta for healthcare and other facilities and this is what shows that the border is what differentiates Pakistan from India,” he added.

He reckoned that following the elections, the biggest challenge in Afghanistan would be security, eradication of extremism and mobilisation of people. He lauded the neutral role of Pakistan during the elections.

About the law and order situation, the senator said the Afghan people were exhausted by decades of war and were desperate for dialogue to end it.

About the first phase, he added the high voter turnout and political maturity displayed in Afghan presidential election showed democracy was gaining ground in Afghanistan.

Khattak said that Pakistan needs to extend its support to the people of Afghanistan for a peaceful and democratic transition.

“Pakistan should also extend support to Afghanistan for joint economic ventures that will help both the countries sustain economic stability in the South Asian region.”

He also pointed out that Taliban have emerged strong militarily, but not politically. “If the Taliban join mainstream politics, it will become the top religio-political party,” he commented.

He also added that the people of Afghanistan were still weary of Pakistan because they fear that the latter might support the Taliban. Khattak ruled out stagnation in the atmosphere following the success of a Tajik (Abdullah) in a Pakhtun-dominated country.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2014.

COMMENTS (3)

Nasir islam | 7 years ago | Reply

For your information Mr. afghan, some 28 Million Pustuns live in Pakistan, perhaps more than twice the number living in Afghanistan. Just like Afghanistan where Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, Aimak, Nuristanis, Baloch, Brahuis and varios others ethnic groups live. As for Great Afghanistan, it is 174th out of 176 countries on the Transparency International's Corruption Perception index, a failing state like Somalia. 90 % of its GDP comes from foreign aid. It's army is all paid for by Americans. It lives on the charity of foreign donors. It's government and politicians are one of the three most corrupt in the world. It produces 90 % of the World's opium and smuggles heroine. It's police abuses it's own people. I will be very surprised if Afrasiab Khattak would like to live in Afghanistan.

afghan | 7 years ago | Reply

what a big name Afrasyab Khatak ? with that name and last name you call yourself Pakistani? while you have your own country Great Afghanistan. Mr. Afrasyab please call yourself a Choudry not a khatak

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