Fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue: An Expert Opinion

By Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan | Gwadar Pro May 8, 2023

Editor's Note: The author is Executive Director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies (CSAIS) Islamabad and Regional Expert on China, BRI & CPEC. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of Gwadar Pro.

China’s timely diplomatic assistance and political help has once again successfully rescued the government of Pakistan from diplomatic isolation schemed by India during the recently held SCO FM Summit in India.

Moreover, by appreciating pure resolve of Pakistan, combating terrorism the Chinese wisdom has truly supported the government against Indian ill designs and false, fake and fictional propaganda. It seems that the Chinese connection has created a balance in the region which is a good omen for achieving the dreams of greater regional connectivity and immense socio-economic integration in the days to come.  The mentioning of the resolution of occupied Kashmir according to the resolutions of the UN and bilateral agreements was very effective in this regard.

In this regard, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang chairing of the fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministers’ dialogue in Islamabad clearly indicated full support of China in term of completion of the CPEC projects, security arrangements, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and last but not least, national stability and development of Pakistan which vividly reflects its true friendship with the country.

Obviously, the Chinese wisdom has once again successfully prevailed in the most recently concluded the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan foreign ministers’ dialogue held in Islamabad during which Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang chaired the meeting and emphasized to deepen anti-terrorism cooperation and enhance economic collaboration to achieve desired goals of regional stability and development. Subsequently, the three participating sides agreed on it. Thus message of the moot was loud and clear that terrorism had no place, space and scope in the region.

Precisely, there were numerous good outcomes of this trilateral dialogue starting from terming the fifth trilateral dialogue as “restart” of the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral cooperation mechanism, highlighting the Chinese wisdom and state policy, attaching great importance to the friendship with Afghanistan and Pakistan which would be further strengthened through the implementation of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) the Global Security Initiative (GSI) and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) with share development opportunities, jointly meet security challenges, and promote regional stability and prosperity in the region and beyond.

One of the highlights of this important event was the Chinese stressing of the strategic importance of anti-terrorism cooperation by assuring strong commitment and cooperation in combating menace of terrorism under regional multilateral frameworks including the coordination and cooperation mechanism among Afghanistan’s neighboring countries.

It is indeed victory of true essence of trilateral dialogue, initiated by the Chinese government and of course peaceful persuasions of China and Pakistan that all parties also agreed to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in economy, trade, agriculture, poverty reduction and people-to-people exchanges. They all agreed to advance the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) cooperation, and extend the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) cooperation to Afghanistan thus promote connectivity, improve cross-border trading, enhance the economic integration of the three countries and achieve sustainable development.

In the bilateral meeting with Bilawal Zardri Bhutto the foreign minister of Pakistan, China again appreciated Pakistan’s support on issues concerning China’s core interests, and promised to extend the Chinese firm support Pakistan to safeguard its national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as combat terrorism, Qin said.

To overcome the looming threats of security and terrorism Qin pledged to deepen security capacity building and security system cooperation with Pakistan. He expressed his hope that Pakistan can protect the security of Chinese personnel, projects and institutions with the tightest measures.

For his part, Bilawal showed complete solidarity with the Chinese leadership and its strategic vision and basic principles towards its national sovereignty and territorial integrity Bilawal strongly opposed any attempt to contain China and assured to be always standing with China.

The Chinese FM Qin also met with Pakistani Chief of the Army Staff Syed Asim Munir on the sidelines of the fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue in Islamabad.

During the meeting Qin praised the solid friendship between China and Pakistan, terming the two countries friendship as all-weather strategic cooperative partners. China is looking forward to achieving higher-level cooperation with Pakistan, jointly meeting challenges and achieving common development, Qin said.

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