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Former Ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand has said that Taliban are relying more on China than Pakistan as former is one of the world's biggest economies and can stand up to the United States to defend its position in an effective and meaningful manner.
He was delivering a lecture on Conflict: Emerging Dynamics and Impact on Pakistan organized by Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA) at its library hall, here on Wednesday.
Taliban are more depending on China because they consider them as more influential than Pakistan to implement the terms to be agreed by stakeholders in peace talks with the US.
However, he said Pakistan could not be excluded as it is an indispensible component of the US-Taliban peace talks.
He said incumbent US government wanted a safe exit from Afghanistan to avoid further financial and military losses.
Sharing his thoughts on geo-strategic situation of the region, he said that Afghanistan was not in a position to provide tangible benefits to neighboring countries due to internal instability.
"Afghanistan has huge potential of producing 158,000 megawatts through wind energy which could benefit the neighbouring countries as well," Mohmand said, adding that a stable Afghanistan could play a vital role in regional development, which could provide an opportunity to establish a powerful Afghanistan-Pakistan-India economic bloc.
Commenting on Gwadar development, he said the utilization of the potential of the port town is subject to the easy trade access to Afghanistan.
While drawing a comparison between the Gwadar port and Iran's Chabahar port, Mohmand said Gwadar is a reality and has a huge potential to contribute in the development of regional economy whereas Chabahar is less effective to serve such purpose.
To a question on the River Kabul, he said Afghanistan could build a water reservoir on River Kabul as there is no water sharing agreement between the two countries.
He said that water scarcity could be a serious issue to deal with for Pakistan, India and Afghanistan if no precautionary measures were taken mutually; hence Pakistan must take up this water issue with Afghanistan for conflict resolution.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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