A regional approach to Afghanistan

EDITORIAL: A regional approach to Afghanistan
Daily Times, October 29, 2009

Foreign ministers of China, Russia and India, holding their 9th meeting in Bangalore in India, have jointly urged the international community not to let the focus slip from their mission in Afghanistan. They also jointly condemned “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reiterated that there could be no justification for any act of terrorism anywhere”.

The three countries spoke of “the commitment of restoring peace and stability and building a democratic, pluralistic and prosperous Afghanistan”. In the joint statement, China joined the other two countries in condemning the “recent terror attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul”. The context of the meeting was also found in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which was “steadily becoming an important factor of emerging architecture of security, economy, culture, people-to-people contacts and cooperation in Asia”.

The meeting was “sanitised” for Pakistan by the presence of China, and one can assume that Pakistan will not be in hostile company if it compared notes with other member and observer states of the SCO on what the neighbours of Afghanistan can do to ease the next stage of development in Afghanistan. The last time Afghanistan plunged into a Hobbesian “state of nature” its neighbours worked at cross-purposes and each suffered in varying degrees.

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