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Dr. Amjad Abbas Khan

What does Taliban expect China to help them to get rid of drug dependence in economy? at cost of cutting support to Uyger terrorist?

China has pledged 200 million yuan emergency aid and 3 million vaccines for Afghanistan.Beijing has announced to work with Taliban government as it was "necessary step to restore order" in Afghanistan Appreciating China’s helpTaliban representatives have described China as Afghanistan's most important partner and pinned high hopes on Chinese investment and support to rebuild the war-torn country.Even before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, China invited representatives of the group over for talks in July, offering economic support for Afghanistan but also stressing that the country should not be used as a staging point for terrorists.Beijing has aptly pointed out that if the international community did not cooperate constructively with the Taliban government, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan would become ugly. Poverty rates may shoot up further even beyond 90pc in the near future. That may result in terrorism and drug trade. In recent years Afghanistan’s opium business has grown larger than ever before almost 90 % of world opium is produced in Afghanistan.Today the opium trade is worth between 6% and 11% of Afghanistan’s GDP, according to the UN. In their first rule they have banned poppy crop , but the economic crisis and reaction from the cultivating class did not allow the ban working for too long. In the face of growing economic crunch , when America has frozen nearly $9bn of Afghanistan’s assets and foreign aid is stoped which is the largest support of Afghanistan Economy, then the ban on opium may not work well. The disbanded Afghanistan National Army may become another source of concern as the soldiers in large number have become jobless and may face food starvation. Taliban have also pledged to not allow their land to be used for terrorism. All the pledges may succeed only if the government of Taliban comes out of economic crunch.China must engage with Taliban for their economic bail out so they can fulfill their promises about stopping terrorism and drug cultivations.China has great stakes in the region vis-a-vis Belt and Road Initiative. In the past linkage of international terrorist organisation like Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and East Turkistan Party with ISIS and Taliban might have been concern for China. She will be vying to disconnect Taliban with any such movements which might pose any threat for the internal security of China. Taliban have started a positive response towards international community and especially to its neighbours including China , Russia and Pakistan, Iran.Through stable Afghanistan, CPEC can be extended to Afghanistan and by involving Iran and Central Asian States through Afghanistan. Pakistan may become pivot for connecting Afghanistan, Central Asia with China and beyond. This connection and China's role in reconstruction of Afghanistan may augur well for Afghanistan and Region as a whole not only in development but also in curtailing Terrorism and Drug trade. Belt and Road initiative can bear fruits of shared benefits and shared destinies.

Editor Assistant Research Fellow: Xianglin Gu

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