Pakistani politician warns violence in Afghanistan could affect CPEC

Charsadda: Pakistani politician and human rights activist Afrasiab Khattak has warned that a new round of violence in Afghanistan could “dynamite” the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

On his twitter handler, the former Senator of the Awami National Party (ANP), wrote: “A new round of violence can dynamite the CPEC, but that won’t be the only thing to be blown away.”

Khattak added: “The US, Taliban Doha deal didn’t work in 1990s and it won’t work now. If not changed the said policy can turn relationship between the two countries (the US and Afghanistan) into a zero sum game.”

Last week, a Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson said Beijing was having discussions with third parties, including Afghanistan, on the extension of the CPEC plan.

“We have noted the relevant remarks by Prime Minister Imran Khan and we appreciate it,” Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing while responding to a question on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks about the CPEC.

While chairing a recent high-level huddle, the prime minister had said that the CPEC will bring economic progress not only to Pakistan but to the entire region.

Zhao Lijian said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was an open and inclusive international economic cooperation initiative that is dedicated to improve connectivity and achieve common development.

“The CPEC, as pioneering projects of the Belt and Road Initiative, has made important and major progress in infrastructure, energy, ports and industrial parks,” he added.

On third-party participation in the CPEC framework, he said that China was having discussions with third parties, including Afghanistan, on the extension of CPEC.

“We notice that Afghanistan is importing and exporting goods through Gwadar and Karachi ports. High-speed highways are also being extended to Afghanistan,” Zhao Lijian said.