Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, December 11th, 2017

The Sixth Heart of Asia Conference

The sixth Ministerial Meeting of Heart of Asia Conference is going on in Amritsar, India. The Conference being attended by more than 40 countries and leading international institutions and groups like the European Union and the Process is reported to be deliberating on different challenges that Afghanistan is facing, including revival of peace process.
The Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process was launched in Istanbul, Turkey in 2011 and the participating countries include Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates. The main objective of initiation of the Conference was to encourage security, political and economic cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbors.
Besides the participating countries there are many countries from the international community that support the Process and they are Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Finland, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Britain and the U.S.
On Saturday, December 03, senior officials of all 14 participating countries and representatives of supporting nations deliberated on a wide range of issues pertaining to the region particularly the complex security scenario and dealing with threat of terrorism, radicalization and extremism. Moreover, in a separate meeting of senior officials, the trade issues particularly the ones relating to the connecting Afghanistan to the South and Central Asian countries so as to boost trade ties were also discussed and it finalized the text for today’s Ministerial Conference. The Conference is underway at a time when the ties between India and Pakistan, two important countries for Afghanistan, are at their worst.
Afghanistan at the moment is in a position where it can see a very challenging future ahead of it. The prospects do not seem without serious challenges and the hopes that the country would be able to stand strong against the threats of insecurity and stability are scanty to a certain extent. It would require a definite support both from international community and regional countries.
Though there have been very promising commitments in this regard recently, the scenario does not seem to be favoring a very encouraging outcome of all these commitments. After all, the political objectives are not what are basically promised in the conferences and agreements. They are in the interests of the countries that enter into them.
There cannot be unconditional and indefinite support for Afghanistan both from the region and the international community and Afghanistan needs to realize this fact. At the moment it has to consider one very important fact and that is the strengthening of the regional ties by keeping the international community happy, which is no doubt a very difficult task as the interests differ to a great extent. Even without involving the international community, it can be observed that the regional countries have differences in their interests, which even clash at the present time.
However, it is possible for the region to get together (in the real sense of the term) on certain of the issues that are very common to them. Duality in the diplomatic attitude and dealings will not benefit the region at all. True efforts are needed at this juncture as the possibilities are very real that the instability and insecurity in a single country can harm the neighboring countries. And, even after a cursory look at the scenario, it can be concluded that the issues like insecurity and economic instability are threatening the region to a great extent. Therefore, starting from these very basic issues, the involved countries can make future cooperation possible and a regional integrity achievable.
Afghanistan is a country, where both the issues of insecurity and economic instability are top priority matters. In the contemporary national scenario, regional countries will have to play a key role. Realizing the importance of the regional countries in these matters, President Ashraf Ghani has always emphasized for the full cooperation of the region.
Though recently, there have been many promises and commitments made to improve the situation in Afghanistan both by national and international countries and organizations, yet the facts and figures suggest that it would be very difficult for Afghanistan to tackle the situation in the times to come. There are many unresolved issues in the country that may give rise to instability and chaos if immediate solutions are not pursued.
History has been the witness that Afghanistan has been used as a playground by international and regional countries to practice the games of politics and conflicts. The neighboring countries, in this regard can be blamed to a large extent. They have never tried to see Afghanistan as a nation that is worth having development and better living standards.
The time has come when they have to be more responsible. Along with promises, they have to carry out practical measures and play the role of true and honest neighbors. Moreover, the national efforts made are also to be blamed for not achieving what they could have achieved. The ill-governance, corruption and the greed for authority have made Afghan government and administration unable to offer and trust. National Unity Government must, therefore, play constructive and responsible role in that regard as well.