Chinese scholar urges world to respect Afghans' will, address regional countries; concerns

BEIJING, Apr 15 (APP): The international community should adhere to the direction of political settlement and uphold the basic principle of “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” for settlement of the Afghan issue.

It should also respect the will of the Afghan people, attach importance to the concerns of regional countries, and provide support as much as possible.

“As a country with strong regional influence, Pakistan may continue to play an important role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process,” Cheng Xizhong, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law and former Defence Attache in South Asian countries, said on Thursday.

The Chinese scholar, in a statement, said, at present the process of peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan had entered a critical stage, and all negotiating parties should comply with the trend of the times and the voice of the people, and promote the construction of an inclusive political structure with equal participation and power sharing.

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He observed that with the withdrawal of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) troops from Afghanistan, the security situation was likely to become more complicated.

Cheng Xizhong said in the afternoon of April 14, US President Joe Biden officially announced that starting from May 1, the United States would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and by September 11 this year, all the American troops would be back home from that country.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced in Brussels that starting from May 1, NATO troops in Afghanistan would be withdrawn from Afghanistan, and NATO forces, including the US troops, would be completely evacuated within several months.

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He said currently, NATO had about 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, including 2,500 US troops.

“According to a study on the cost of the Afghan War by Brown University, about 2,300 US troops and nearly 4,000 US contractors were killed, and more than 20,000 Americans were injured. The United States has spent more than 2 trillion US dollars in the Afghan War,” he added.

Analysts pointed out that despite 20 years and heavy costs, the Afghan War did not bring real victory to the United States.

By abusing military means, the United States launched the Afghan War in retaliation for September 11 attacks, causing extremely serious consequences, and terrorism had now spread to all corners of the world, he added.