KABUL Sep 03,2021 – The economic future of Afghanistan rests chiefly in the hands of China after it agreed to help rebuild the war-torn country, said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in an interview.
The interview of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid published by Italian publication La Repubblica on Thursday, Mujahid was quoted as saying: “China is our most important partner and represents a fundamental and extraordinary opportunity for us, because it is ready to invest and rebuild our country.”
Following the swift Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and the last of the foreign troops leaving the war-torn country on August 31, Western states have restricted aid to Afghanistan, in view of the political uncertainty.
Mujahid said that the New Silk Road or the One Belt, One Road initiative, that seeks to link China with Africa, Asia and Europe through an enormous network of ports, railways, roads and industrial parks was held in “high regard” by the Taliban.
The initiative spans some 65 countries representing 60% of the world population and around a third of global gross domestic product. The China Development Bank has earmarked $890 billion for some 900 projects.
There are “rich copper mines in [Afghanistan], which, thanks to the Chinese, can be put back into operation and modernised. In addition, China is our pass to markets all over the world.”
Pakistan advises Afghan leadership to show wisdom
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaking at the 6th Think Tank Forum Thursday advised the Afghan leadership to show wisdom, as the Taliban move to announce their government in the restive country.
Pakistan’s foreign minister said the “momentous” events taking place in Afghanistan would have far-reaching consequences for the region and the world.