KABUL – President Ashraf Ghani has endorsed a Chinese proposal for a four-nation alliance against terrorism, a top presidential aide said in an interview on Wednesday.
The suggestion was floated by China’s military chief Gen. Fang Fenghui during his trip to Kabul, where he held a series of meetings with top Afghan leaders.
Gen. Fenghui suggested China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan — all sharing borders with the western regions of China — should forge a coalition against the scourge.
With links to regional insurgent outfits, the Uighur ethnic group in western China has been a major security concern for Beijing. The Turkic group in Xinjiang province has been struggling for greater political autonomy since the early 1990s.
Ghani’s deputy spokesman told the Voice of America Gen. Fenghui had urged Afghanistan to join the anti-terrorism mechanism.
“President Ghani has endorsed the proposal,” Syed Zafar Hashemi was quoted as saying.
For his part, the president cautioned against making any distinction between good and bad terrorists. Kabul has long blasted Islamabad for turning a blind eye to the terrorists operating out of Pakistan and fighting inside Afghanistan.
Separately, a State Department spokesperson said Washington was supportive of any role that Beijing could play in stabilising the war-torn country.
“China’s a neighbour, and they have an interest in a strong, stable, terrorism-free Afghanistan…I’m not in a position to comment specifically about this proposal, since, as I understand it, it’s just recently been set forth.
“And I understand President Ghani had some positive things to say about it. Again, we’d welcome any effort by members of the international community that would lead to a strong, prosperous, stable Afghanistan in the future.” (Pajhwok)