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‘Indo-Pak rivalry can be very costly for Afghanistan’

Last Updated: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 09:20

New York: Observing that proxy war inside Afghanistan is neither good for his country nor the region, the Afghan Ambassador to the United Nations, Zahir Tanin, has said rivalry between India and Pakistan can cost very dearly to his country.
Emphasising that Afghanistan needs both India and Pakistan to continue to co-operate with his country, Tanin said: "Rivalry between Pakistan and India, when it comes to Afghanistan can be costly for the stability of Afghanistan.”

As Afghanistan enters the phase of "transition strategy" post-London conference, he said that there is a responsibility for the region also that instead of starting to see the things as end game; they should see it into how this transition would be transition from war to peace.

"In Afghanistan, the idea of taking out India or Pakistan is not useful, not possible and has very little chance of success.”

“From our point of view, it is important for political stability and economic prosperity of Afghanistan that India and Pakistan have a constructive role in Afghanistan," he said.

"But if we go back towards the mentality of the 1990s, I am not sure, such a scenario would succeed," Tanin said, adding Afghanistan would like to continue its relationship with both countries as its neighbours as with each of them Afghanistan has historic cultural and political relationship.

"From the point of Afghanistan, we see regional co-operation as the only alternative for stability in Afghanistan and in the region," Tanin said, adding this regional cooperation is based on a win-win situation.

"Afghanistan in last eight years offered a lot of economic interest, while countries also helped us. We became a hub of trade and commerce. The alternative is rivalry in Afghanistan. The alternative is proxy wars. The alternative of regional cooperation is proxy wars and rivalry," the Ambassador said.

"If there is any idea of proxy war, it is not helpful and it has no future.”

“Kabul is not going to tolerate it and I do not think, that the majority of Afghans can support that," he said.

Tanin said the three countries have been working closely together at the international forums including the United Nations in a wide range of issues.

"Our interests are not divided. I see there are many issues in which India and Pakistan can work together and there is a place for Afghanistan," he said.

"Despite this whole negative debate about rivalries, proxy war and future of Afghanistan; problems in the region; we see that the logic of cooperation is very strong.”

“I mean cooperation brings billions of dollars to India and Pakistan; while any rivalry in Afghanistan can take that money," he argued.


First Published: Monday, March 15, 2010 - 09:20

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