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World / SCO PM Meeting

Afghan analysts see SCO essential platform to bolster regional stability

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-16 11:14

KABUL - The 14th prime ministers' conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) concluded Tuesday in central China's Zhengzhou city with the objective of promoting peace, prosperity and economic development in the region.

The Afghan government's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah was representing the war-torn country at the conference.

Afghan political experts were eyeing the conference with optimism, with some believing that the SCO as a regional platform can play a significant role in resolving regional issues, including the war on terror, economic cooperation and poverty alleviation.

Militancy-plagued Afghanistan, according to political observers, could be problematic for regional stability for the years ahead if the source of insurgency, the Taliban, al-Qaida, Islamic State and like-minded groups, goes unchecked.

"In my opinion all the SCO members, especially China, can facilitate Afghanistan to embrace durable peace and security by investing in development projects to create job opportunities. Lasting peace in Afghanistan can benefit the whole region including China," Mohammad Taqi Hashimi, a political analyst, told Xinhua.

As a major founding member of the SCO and the second economic power in the world, China can help Afghanistan achieve lasting peace and security by investing in economic projects in this country and by influencing countries in the region, the analyst said.

"Afghans prefer to see Chinese investment instead of seeing NATO-led troops in their country," said the analyst who is a university professor in the eastern Ghazni province. "A military presence means violence but an economic presence and investment in development projects means peace and prosperity."

Established in 2001, the SCO now has six members - China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia are observers; while Turkey, Belarus and Sri Lanka serve as dialogue partners with the organization.

All the SCO member states are neighbors of Afghanistan and lasting peace in the war-torn country would benefit its neighboring countries and the whole region, the political watcher observed.

Describing terrorism, extremism and separatism as common threats to the region, the analyst said the region, particularly Afghanistan, has suffered hugely due to terrorism and the SCO as an important organization could help curb terrorism by promoting economic development, peace and stability in Afghanistan through the facilitation of trade and economic activities.

"Peace and stability in Afghanistan can bolster economic cooperation in the region, otherwise, the evil of terrorism, extremism and separatism will destabilize the whole region including South and Central Asian countries," said political watcher Khan Mohammad Daneshjo.

The SCO can play a significant role in achieving the goal, he believed.

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