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Afghanistan: The hard work towards independence of country, mind, body and spirit

Shortly after the US withdrew in Disarray and Shame from Afghanistan, they tried to deploy their own military infrastructure in neighboring countries.  The Afghan neighbors are Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  China in a sense picked up the burden of Afghanistan, almost like an orphan child, but ongoing are the discussions of neighboring countries on a ministerial level.  This illustrates the often painstaking work that countries in combination are carrying out to lift countries out of their miserable conditions, instead of bombing and threatening them into a deeper travail.

From the US side it is often said that the US owes Afghanistan nothing, because of the sizable and expensive military equipment stock that the US itself abandoned in the country.  But this is only half the story.  There are many boasts from US soldiers stationed there, how they broke the expensive equipment so that it could not be used.  It is also so that this military equipment cannot simply be sold, because of various laws that govern the sale of military equipment.  So who knows really if a valuable asset was abandoned in Afghanistan by the US and of course, they cannot eat a helicopter.  The main problems are poverty, food scarcity, narcotics and terrorism which breeds extremism and radicalization.  In a sense, Afghanistan is being taken by the hand and led forward into a real state.

This process also illustrates the double-edged sword of multipolarity where one country does not interfere with the internal affairs of another.  Afghanistan though is still in the stone age, yet, it does not stop Russia to state the necessary human values that are expected.

The importance of creating a truly inclusive government in Kabul, reflecting the interests of key ethno-political groups, was noted. The attention of the Afghan authorities was also drawn to the need to comply with basic human rights principles, in particular guaranteeing the rights of women and girls to work and education, respectively. The countries in the region expressed their readiness to assist Kabul in stepping up efforts to eradicate terrorism and drug crime and to improve the socio-economic situation in the country.

China during this last week published their position.  This was in the run-up to another ministerial conference which has just concluded.  The Russian MFA posted this summary:

On April 13, Samarkand (Uzbekistan) hosted (https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1863403/) the fourth ministerial conference of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries (which included Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan). Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov took part in the event.

During the meeting, the current situation in Afghanistan and the surrounding region was discussed.

The parties’ interest in the development of Afghanistan as a peaceful, unified and independent state, which will pose no security threat to third countries, was reaffirmed.

<…>

The participants emphasised the responsibility of the US and its NATO allies for the results of their disastrous 20-year Afghan military campaign, which resulted in the current dismal state of affairs.

It was stressed that the countries of the collective West should assume the main financial burden for the post-conflict rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

Specifically, it was noted that it is necessary for the West to promptly unblock Afghanistan’s national assets, which is especially important for resolving the humanitarian crisis in that country.

The Russian side pointed out that the US and NATO attempts to deploy their military infrastructure on the territories of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries were unacceptable.

It can be read in full here.

China’s Position on the Afghan Issue is as follows:

China and Afghanistan are close neighbors with longstanding friendship between the two peoples. Under the current situation, China’s position on the Afghan issue is as follows:

1.Adhering to the “Three Respects” and “Three Nevers”. China respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan, respects the independent choices made by the Afghan people, and respects the religious beliefs and national customs of Afghanistan. China never interferes in Afghanistan’s internal affairs, never seeks selfish interests in Afghanistan, and never pursues so-called sphere of influence.

2.Supporting moderate and prudent governance in Afghanistan. China sincerely hopes that Afghanistan could build an open and inclusive political structure, adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, and engage in friendly exchanges with all countries especially neighboring countries. We hope the Afghan Interim Government will protect the basic rights and interests of all Afghan people, including women, children and all ethnic groups, and continue working actively to meet Afghan people’s interests and the international community’s expectations.

3.Supporting peace and reconstruction of Afghanistan. China will continue to do its best to help Afghanistan with reconstruction and development, make plans with Afghanistan and fulfill its assistance pledges, promote steady progress in economic, trade and investment cooperation, and actively carry out cooperation in such fields as medical care, poverty alleviation, agriculture, and disaster prevention and mitigation, so as to help Afghanistan realize independent and sustainable development at an early date. China welcomes Afghanistan’s participation in Belt and Road cooperation and supports Afghanistan’s integration into regional economic cooperation and connectivity that will transform Afghanistan from a “land-locked country” to a “land-linked country”.

4.Supporting Afghanistan in countering terrorism resolutely and forcefully. Security is the foundation and prerequisite of development. The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a terrorist organization listed by the UN Security Council and designated by the Chinese government in accordance with law. The ETIM forces in Afghanistan pose a severe threat to the security of China, Afghanistan and the region. China hopes that Afghanistan will fulfill its commitment in earnest and take more effective measures to crack down on all terrorist forces including the ETIM with greater determination, and earnestly ensure the safety and security of citizens, institutions and projects of China and other countries in Afghanistan.

5.Calling for greater bilateral and multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation. As Afghanistan faces pronounced terrorism-related security issues, it is necessary for the international community to strengthen counter-terrorism security cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral levels and provide Afghanistan with much-needed supplies, equipment and technical assistance. Afghanistan should be supported in taking comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism and prevent the country from again becoming a safe haven, breeding ground and source of terrorism.

6.Working together to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism in Afghanistan. Terrorism, separatism and extremism in Afghanistan remain a major security threat to the region and the world. China calls on the international community to firmly support Afghanistan’s fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism and its active measures to cut off the channels of terrorist financing, to counter recruitment and cross-border movement of terrorists and the spread of violent terrorist audio and video materials, to contain extremism, youth radicalization and the spread of terrorist ideologies, and to eliminate sleeper cells and terrorist safe havens.

7.Urging the US to live up to its commitments and responsibilities to Afghanistan. It is a widely-held view in the international community that, by seizing Afghanistan’s overseas assets and imposing unilateral sanctions, the US, which created the Afghan issue in the first place, is the biggest external factor that hinders substantive improvement in the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. The US should draw lessons from what happened in Afghanistan, face squarely the grave humanitarian, economic and security risks and challenges in Afghanistan, immediately lift its sanctions, return the Afghan overseas assets, and deliver its pledged humanitarian aid to meet the emergency needs of the Afghan people.

8.Opposing external interference and infiltration in Afghanistan. It is a shared view of regional countries that the military interference and “democratic transformation” by external forces in Afghanistan over the past 20-odd years have inflicted enormous losses and pain on Afghanistan. It will be difficult to eliminate the negative impacts for many years to come. To help Afghanistan achieve sustained peace and stability, relevant countries should not attempt to re-deploy military facilities in Afghanistan and its neighbourhood, practice double standards on counter-terrorism, or advance their geopolitical agenda by supporting or conniving at terrorism.

9.Strengthening international and regional coordination on the Afghan issue. Under the new circumstances, Afghanistan should be a platform for cooperation among various parties rather than geopolitical games. China supports all plans and measures that are conducive to political settlement of the Afghan issue, and will actively engage in multilateral coordination through such mechanisms and platforms as the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Afghan Issue among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)-Afghanistan Contact Group, the Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan, the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, the Informal Meeting of China-Russia-Pakistan-Iran Foreign Ministers on Afghanistan, the Troika Plus Meeting and the United Nations, in an effort to build consensus and synergy for stability in and assistance to Afghanistan at regional and international levels.

10.Facilitating solution to Afghanistan’s humanitarian and refugee issues. China is concerned about the situation of Afghan refugees and will continue to provide assistance through bilateral and multilateral channels. China supports relevant UN agencies in playing a positive role in this regard, applauds the efforts by regional countries, and calls on the international community to provide continuous humanitarian and development assistance to jointly help Afghanistan rebuild its economy and create favorable conditions for the final settlement of the refugee issue.

11.Supporting Afghanistan’s fight against narcotics. China looks forward to and supports more concrete actions by Afghanistan to counter narcotics cultivation, production and illicit trafficking, and will work with the international community to help Afghanistan with alternative development and crackdown on cross-border drug-related crimes, so as to eliminate the source of narcotics in the region.

What it looks like, is that this ministerial grouping of neighboring countries will insist on the release of Afghan national assets.  But further than that, this time I expect the collective West will receive an invoice for the material harm that they caused.  Take a look at this sentence again:  “It was stressed that the countries of the collective West should assume the main financial burden for the post-conflict rehabilitation of Afghanistan.”  I have seen statements such as this from the Chinese side frequently, saying that the West created this quagmire and now the rest have to pick it up and repair it and pay for the repairs, in order to have peace in our time.

Afghanistan, even with the Taliban, is a superb example of what happens when the world starts working together and independence of mind, spirit, and humanity is fostered.

Cookies Victoria Nuland is out on the stumps threatening and stuttering and spitting how Russia will pay for the damage done in the Ukraine.  No Vicky you sweet old stale cookie.  If I look at the Afghanistan situation very carefully and over time, I think some bills will be presented to some of you.  What a wonderful moment that will be.

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AHH
Admin
AHH
10 months ago

Thx, but I strongly object! I have a sweet tooth. please don’t put “sweet cookie” and Cookies in same line, para, post, blog, galaxy! The story of Afghanistan is wrenching. After the Palestinians, have any been tormented longer?? Going on a half-century now! Look how beautiful and hopeful they were… Read more »

AHH
Admin
AHH
10 months ago
Reply to  AHH

I forgot another key function of creating the “Af-Pak” Black Hole was targeted at suppressing the feared Indian economy and potential. It was historically 1 or 2 with China worldwide. So that India doesn’t receive fuel for its rebirthing economy from either Iran (what a potent combo!) or Turkmenistan (TAPI pipe)..

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AHH
Admin
AHH
10 months ago
Reply to  amarynth

We may disagree with them but each has right to live their way. Are we going to go into the Amazon or African bush and demand primitive tribes wear clothes too and take kids to school?? Women’s rights was a key point which led to ousting of West, since it was… Read more »

AHH
Admin
AHH
10 months ago
Reply to  amarynth

A,  We are arguing about two different things. I am not projecting based on their ancient views from yesteryear.. I know Afghans and many like them today. They’re both stubborn mountain men and incurably tribal at same time. A neocon is a soft overcooked flexible noodle in comparison! It’s their… Read more »