It is good to note that China has offered to extended great game changer China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to Afghanistan emphatically pointing out that it is an economic cooperation programme and not against any third party. The Chinese offer has been made at the first trilateral meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan held in Beijing the other day.

According to the reports in media, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying has made it quite clear that the offer of project extension is not directed against any third party as it serves the common interests of the said countries. The dialogue and cooperation should not be influenced or disturbed by any country. CPEC is an economic cooperation programme, and Afghanistan is a common neighbour of both, China and Pakistan. Both countries have strong desire to develop their economy and improve the livelihood of their people. They are willing to integrate into the regional connectivity process and willing to integrate into CPEC, and the project will benefit the third country (India) as well as the whole region on the whole.

She stated this when she was asked to comment on reports that China’s plans to extend the CPEC top Afghanistan has sparked concerns in India adding that CPEC extension is not directed against any third party as such and the three sides have also pledged to step up mutual cooperation for counter-terrorism.

This seems all good, and if everyone is sincere in countering terrorism and militancy then much desired peace will also return to the region, particularly, Pakistan and Afghanistan besides economic progress and development. If India is not ready to listen and understand what Pakistan says it should at least believe in what China is saying as belying every neighbouring country in every matter is not reasonable at all.

MUHAMMAD MURTAZA ZEESHAN,

Lahore, December 28.