AIR Debate - Heart of Asia Conference 2016
The Heart of Asia (HoA) conference was held in New Delhi on 26th of April 2016 with the objective of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and speeding up its reconstruction with a focus on enhancing investment and connectivity to the country.
The key elements of HoA process have been to devise a sustained, incremental approach to implementation of the confidence building measures (CBM) in Afghanistan, Energy, infrastructure and investment deals to shore up economic growth of Afghanistan may figure in the talks.
Security in Afghanistan is the critical component of the HoA conference. With American troops with drawl from Afghanistan the Taliban is reorienting itself to jump back to normalcy and create tensions in the region. Pak need to realise that its support to terrorists in Afghanistan is counterproductive and the world community needs to put pressure on Pak to ensure fair play in the reconstruction process.
Connectivity in the region has been the centrepiece of all the efforts to enhance trade, commerce and investment among regional countries. It will serve to tap Afghanistan’s vast natural and human resources. Afghanistan can emerge as a hub of regional trade and energy arteries. The Chabahar port in Iran is poised to open new gateways for trade between two countries and reduce the dependency of Afghanistan on Karachi port for its trade and commerce.
India is also willing to avail of other regional and trans-regional connectivity initiatives such as the North – South Transport Corridor and the Ashgabat Agreement.
Afghanistan is embroiled in its own issues since many decades. Now that its hard fight against the Taliban is coming to an end it should not rest or be complacent about its security. Regional powers have the role and responsibility to resolve issues so that it paves way for unleashing the larger untapped potential of Afghans. At the same time responsible powers like US, China, India and Russia should ensure the fair play in the reconstruction and in creating larger avenues for development for the people of Afghanistan.
Click here and search for Spotlight / News Analysis dated 26th April 2016