Pakistan invites the Taliban to join CPEC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has invited the Taliban to join the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project.

According to the information received in this regard, on Monday, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmad Khan said that Pakistan has invited the Taliban government to join CPEC.

Reports state that Mansoor Ahmad has emphasized the importance of regional connectivity with the Afghan leadership to pave the way forward, iterating that this partnership offered good potential for providing infrastructure and energy connectivity between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  It would also connect South Asia to the Central Asian region, and offer a way towards Iran, China, etc.

In an interview with a foreign news agency, he said the Taliban leadership had discussed CPEC and other projects aimed at finding opportunities to support the Afghan economy. 

Discussions have been occurring between officials of Pakistan, China, Russia, and the Taliban, the focal point of which have been economic development and security. It is to be noted that ever since the Taliban took over Afghanistan last month, the nation has been in economic turmoil, with billions of dollars worth of assets having been frozen which has hampered international trade. The country is lacking in its dollar reserves and there is little in the way of international aid as well.

Mansoor Khan stated that Pakistan was also trying to get the international community to ease its restrictions, which the Western powers have been unwilling to do so, until and unless the Taliban guarantee upholding human – particularly women – rights.

As it stands, it is to be noted that Pakistan holds deep ties with Afghanistan, and has been hosting millions of refugees from across the border for years. However, it hasn’t yet officially recognized the Taliban-led government, which Mansoor Ahmad states will come later.

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