Afghan security needs urgent attention in wake of blast

By Liu Jianxi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/1 23:28:39

A suicide blast ripped through the diplomatic quarter of Kabul, Afghanistan Wednesday, causing at least 90 deaths and hundreds of injuries, according to media reports. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani condemned the explosion as an "inhuman and cowardly attack" against innocent civilians. The Taliban denied involvement and there has been no claim of responsibility for the attack so far.

Despite anti-terrorism operations, Afghanistan's security situation allows no optimism. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented 2,181 civilian casualties in the first quarter of 2017. "It is civilians, with increasing numbers of women and children, who far too often bear the brunt of the conflict," said UNAMA head Tadamichi Yamamoto.

Apart from civilian casualties and devastating effects on the country's economy and politics, the turbulence will for sure negatively affect cooperation, peace and stability in the whole region, considering Afghanistan's geopolitical advantages as a transportation hub for central, south and west Asia. Thus, the stabilization of Afghanistan is of vital importance.

China's efforts in safeguarding Afghanistan's security cannot be ignored. Under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China has been attempting to combat terrorism with the parties concerned, and is seeking effective ways to maintain stability in Afghanistan. The SCO Foreign Ministers' Meeting in April highlighted the significance of the SCO-Afghanistan contact group to the country's security.

In addition, Beijing's Belt and Road initiative will give strong economic backing to Afghanistan, a country along the route, and this will help alleviate Afghanistan's security turmoil. A Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road initiative has been signed between China and Afghanistan, and the two sides agreed to put construction of cross-border fiber optic network top of the agenda. Meanwhile, China is Afghanistan's largest investor, with a number of deals signed to boost bilateral trade. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank approved Afghanistan's application this March and will financially support the country's economic and societal construction as well.

There is a long way before Afghanistan restores domestic peace and stability, and the international community should work together to strike a blow against terrorism. Aggravating poverty will lead to a deteriorating security situation and vice versa. Economic aid to Afghanistan should be the first priority, and more effort should be put into promoting the four-nation talks on the Afghan peace process and speeding up the country's political reconciliation.

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