‘Afghanistan key to South Asia economic potential’

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday Afghanistan uniquely positioned to unlock South Asia’s huge economic potential.

“Manmade barriers to intraregional trade deny the people of South Asia the fruits of awe-inspiring technological developments and innovation since decolonisation of the region,” Abdullah said in his address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.

Attending the panel discussion titled ‘Strategic Update on South Asia. ‘Unacceptable for South Asia (home to 35% of global poverty) to remain world’s least integrated region, the CEO said countries should not have to bulk-trade through air corridors or circuitous routes when cheaper alternatives were there.

“We must overcome false conceptions of security, where transit countries render the prosperity of our peoples beholden to the legacies of past conflicts.”

Abdullah said the rationale of strong trade and economic ties should be free from the clutches of narrowly defined security-centric conceptions in their relations.

Addressing the forum, Abdullah said the processes, practices and mechanisms that upheld values of justice, truth, repentance, empathy, victim identification, empowerment and democracy could not be done away with simply because of a change in the nature of the international political system.

“We need to develop the conceptual frameworks in international relations to protect national peace and reconciliation programmes from the harmful effects of what follows from a multipolar global system in terms of state interaction.”

“States must guard against perpetrators of heinous crimes manipulating interstate rivalries to seek legitimacy and power at the expense of victims, thereby setting the scene for further conflict, repression and erosion of the values upon which sustainable peace could be built.” (Pajhwok)