Kabul, Sept 7: In a major development, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid on Monday expressed that the group "desires" to join the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid on Monday expressed that the group "desires" to join the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The group also informed that the Taliban will address Islamabad's concerns about Pakistan-based terror group 'Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan' (TTP), Samaa News reported.
The desire of Taliban to be part of the CPEC project with China and Pakistan is not a big surprise. Pakistan has been sheltering and funding the Taliban even before the takeover in Afghanistan. Most recently, the visit of Pakistan's ISI chief Faiz Hameed to Kabul drew attention after a massive military offensive in Panjshir Valley, reportedly aided by the Pakistan Air Force.
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CPEC is a part of China's most ambitious project 'Belt and Road Initiative', aimed at renewing the country's historic trade routes in the coastal countries of south-east Asia. With CPEC, Beijing aims to expand its influence in Pakistan and across Central and South Asia in order to counter the influence of the United States and India.
The CPEC would link Pakistan's southern Gwadar port (626 kilometers west of Karachi) in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to China's western Xinjiang region. It also includes plans to create road, rail, and oil pipeline links to improve connectivity between China and the Middle East.
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These developments came amid reports suggest that ISI has supported the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan. Several reports also claim that ISI had deployed its "cooperation agents" with the Taliban who have been involved in takeover of Afghanistan.