28 June 2017

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Economic

Saturday May 20, 2017

Kabul (BNA) China is trying to take the initiative of “One Belt, One way” in the region, specifically in Afghanistan and through this expand its role in the Middle East.
All these developments, are taking place while, US is also trying to strengthen its presence in Afghanistan, by sending more troops, for apparently, to curb escalating violence in this ravaged country.  From the other hand, China is a global economic and military power and is due to increase as a major player in all regional and international issues.  While Afghanistan is still burning in the flame violence and day by the security and economic situation in this country is getting deteriorated, China as a one of the key players in Afghanistan´s security and economic issues, may eventually involve either direct or indirectly, while the US like a superpower has had a remarkable presence in this country and in addition of having more than 8000 troops, is heavily involved in the issues related to Afghanistan such as economic, political, security and so forth. While China despite having low scale of involvement in Afghanistan, has recently showed enthusiasm for further involvement in this country. The One Belt, One way strategy makes the Chinese politics to get further involved in the region and specifically in Afghanistan´s issues.
As we are well aware that economic issues are as a main component in China´s global policy and it is possible that in the long term, China may plan to fill the gap left by US in the region. As it has dealt with regional player of Afghanistan´s issue such as Pakistan and Iran. However, China and Russia ties have been so friendly after collapse of the Soviet Union, but there is still some differences of opinion in terms of security and economic issues between these two strategic allies. As both allies are pursuing their own agendas, regarding many different things. Meanwhile, Afghanistan possess a great and unique geo-economic and geo- political location and it could be the main point of involvement of every key player to get in touch either direct or indirect in this country issues. As most of today‘s wars and conflicts around the world is due to economic reasons, in this case China´s economic lucrative corridor via Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan is part of a long term initiative step called “ One Belt, One way” that connects Pakistan through Afghanistan to central Asia and eastern Parts of Iran. This project needs to some pre- time measure such as construction of railways, as it already been finalized between China and other contributors of this plan. But in terms of Afghanistan, it is so valuable for the economic and security situation of this war-torn country. Construction of two railways from Landi Kotal to Jalalabad eastern province of Afghanistan and Chaman to Spin Boldak, as well as the construction of a dam of “Big Blue” over the Kunar River and many large-scale projects by China are is expected to be implemented in Afghanistan. But unfortunately, such a country like Afghanistan with its unique location as lucrative corridor that connects south Asia with the Central, is being used not for economic purposes but for strategic military depths.  According to analysts, this indisputable and securing project will cost $50 billion which eventually have benefits for the security and economic situation of both Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the eyes of the experts, implementing of this huge plan by China, rooted on its foreign policy goals and is due to its insistence on trying to become a great power.  Therefore, Beijing is trying to show up the world community that whatever, the Soviet Union and now the US is failed to accomplish, it is able to do it not by military means, instead by economic strategies.
After all, China wants to quell the violence and stabilize Afghanistan, and it is hardly working in the interest of its own safety as well, because Uighurs Separatist Muslim in the province of Shynzhyang of China, have close relations with the Taliban movement and other extremists groups in Pakistan and Central Asia. This is quite terrible for the national security of China to let the growing spirit of Separatism inside its soil and let the gap for spreading violence and terrorism inside the country. In addition, natural resources of Afghanistan worth trillion dollars and this itself has attracted China’s attention toward Afghanistan because if once this project is implemented, Afghanistan’s natural resources will flow to the Chinese economy. From a different perspective, China’s main objective of this project is strategic goals and meeting its security behind offering economic opportunities. Beijing believes that by offering economic benefits it can replace the violence with stability something that has numerously been proved wrong, however, Beijing pretends to accomplish it. But we cannot simply deny Afghanistan’s current position as a platform for competition instead of cooperation, as many key players in Afghanistan’s crises seek their own interest in continuation of war and instability in this war-torn country. It itself raises the level of threats and challenges to the regional countries. As most of Afghanistan’s neighbors are seriously faced with growing issues of separatism and religious fundamentalism and it should be taken seriously into consideration that unless Afghanistan is not safe and secured from terrorism as an instrument by some regional players, no regional country and as a whole the entire global community will be in peril. Among these countries, China, an immediate neighbor with a growing economic footprint in Afghanistan and the wider region could become a key player in the efforts to revive the war-torn country to a hub for wider economic purposes which from side paves the way for broader economic interests and from other, boost security in Afghanistan and the entire region. Fortunately, since the beginning of third millennium, China has been seeking to boost its global influence under its ambitious and economic initiative such as trader-boosting infrastructure projects. It automatically gives Afghanistan the opportunity to be the focal point of this growing economic power. It will help Afghanistan in the field of counter terrorism efforts, but also in the area of the efforts towards peace talks, which the US and China both have been massively involved. This is for the Afghan state-men to see both major and key players such as China and the US important and gain their support and pave the ground for further exploring the cooperation. At the moment, China is member of trilateral and Quadrilateral mechanism, which its aim is restoring the lasting peace in this war-ravaged Afghanistan and it definitely indicates that from one side the importance of Afghanistan as a strategic hub for China’s future economic projects with its unique natural resources possession and from other China’s role and its influence on Pakistan to make this country ease peace talks with the Taliban movement.
All these come after a profound shift took place in China’s foreign policy as a key player in the region. However, China unlike the US and other western powers has been reluctant in the past to become deeply involved in the ground especially in Afghan-War, based on its traditional practice of non-interference in other nations’ internal affairs, but with growing security challenge and the gradually fall of western dominance in most of the global countries, now is trying to ensure its policy of filling the gap in the case of absence of the US as a superpower in the region, mostly in those areas wherever, most of the things are going wrong instead of becoming better. As now, most of the countries supported by the US under the pretext of ensuring democracy, human rights … are war zones, but in most cases failed and escalated the tensions, caused to defame US’s prestige a superpower. While, China with its soft and economic policies has paved the ground for better ensuring relation with the world nations such as South Africa, central and south eastern of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and so forth.  This could eventually, put Afghanistan at the center of Chinese policy to pay attention on Afghanistan’s situation for gaining better economic benefits and make this country prosper as well.
Abdul Naser Noorzad, Kabul University lecturer
 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Chaired by Vice President Sarwar Danesh, a session was held with participation of representatives of the people of central provinces and minister of public works to review problems on transit route and road construction projects.
Praising leading body of national unity government for its attention to road construction programs in central areas and establishing transport link between provinces and districts of central areas, Vice President expressed hope that by completion of the key project, the people of central areas would reach their justified and historic demands.
Danesh considered road construction projects in central areas as particular to central areas, stressing that the projects are part of national unity government’s projects to be implemented for creating transit link between provinces.
In the session, road construction projects of various provinces such as Bamyan, Daikundi, Ghazni, Ghor, Samangan, Maidan Wardak, Uruzgan, Balkh, Sar-e-Pul and other areas were discussed and reviewed.
 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

JEDDAH/KABUL: Eklil Hakimi, Minister of Finance participated in Islamic Development Bank (IDB) annual meeting in Jeddah, a statement from the Ministry said on Friday.
On the Sideline of IDB annual meeting, Minister Hakimi met Dr. Bandar Al Hajjar, governor of IDB and discussed on IDB engagement in Afghanistan, Proposal of 18 new projects including Andkhoy-Aqina Railway, Kabul Ring Road, and Agriculture projects for returnees, Construction of schools and hospital, housing and some other important subjects. The technical team of this bank was due to come to Kabul to study the feasibility for further engagement, the statement added. According to another report, Minister Hakimi during his visit from Saudi Arabia, met with Foreign Minister Adel Al-jubeir, and discussed a range of issues including the peace process, bilateral relations and projects funded by Saudi Arabia. Minister Hakimi thanked Saudi Arabia for its continued support with Afghanistan, the statement concluded.
 

Saturday May 20, 2017

Kabul (BNA) President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Thursday traveled to central Bamyan province and inaugurated construction work of Yakawalang-Dara-e-Sauf Road, a presidential statement said.
President Ghani, Second Vice President Sarwar Danish, Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan and other government officials inaugurated the $204.9 million road project.
Welcoming the president and accompanied delegation, Bamyan governor Mohammad Tahir Zahir said Bamyan people was supporting the government’s programs, adding inauguration of the Yakawlang-Dar-e-Sauf project has further boosts people’s trust on government.
“Mass participation of the people in today’s event reveal their support of you and the government,” Bamyan governor told the president.
Meanwhile Mahmood Baligh Minister of Public Works said the project was submitted to a Chinese construction firm by the Afghan government earlier in the month of January, adding the contract was submitted to the Chinese firm after it completed all the stand norms and conditions for the project by offering the lowest price of $213.8 million.
He added the project was expected to be completed over a period of three and half years with the financial support of the Asian Development Bank. He said the road was 178 kilometer long, nine meters wide and would have eight bridges, 196 culverts and 5,950 meters of retaining walls.
Congratulating the inauguration of the project to Bamyan people, the second vice president Mohammad Sarwar Danesh said government has implemented major projects, including that of the central provinces.
Pointing to inauguration of Bamyan hospital and calling it unique in the country, VP Danesh said implementation of major development projects in central provinces were due to government, in particular the President’s kind attention. 
According to VP Danesh Bamyan has been connected through air and road with the capital Kabul, adding inauguration of Yakawlang-Dar-e-Sauf project to link central provinces with north and south ones.
VP Danesh went on saying 220 KW energy project to be started for the central provinces, adding several other projects in different fields of education, health, agriculture and consultation were on hand to be implemented.
Pointing to Bamyan’s Touristic attractions, the second vice president asked the local officials to spare no efforts in preservation of the historical sites.
Meanwhile, the president termed the project as vital and said people in every corner of the country were happy over its launch.
“For Afghanistan’s economic development, we have given a priority to infrastructure projects and I am very happy to see this project is kicked off as it will connect the country’s north with the south,” the president said.
Calling the project a national one and related to all people of Afghanistan, the president said the project fulfills one of the dreams of Shaheed of national unity, Ustad Mazari.
“All the previous governments have remained in depth for the central provinces. We have just paid the first depth and would pay the other ones through implementation of other major projects. Our aim is to serve the nation,” the President noted. Pointing to Chinese Construction Company, the president said the company has implemented major projects in China and Afghan government has its commitment for successful implementation of the project.
It is worth to mention that the contract for the 178-kilometer road was signed between the Public Works Ministry and a Chinese construction company CRBC in December last year.
 

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