Canada’s constructive role would bridge the gap between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It would bring a positive change and enhance their capabilities against common enemies like Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other militant groups challenging regional peace and security and also posing an existential threat to the survival of both states.
In addition to this, Canada will also assist both countries in three areas. Firstly, Canada would help Afghanistan and Pakistan to build coordinated infrastructure at crossing points. Secondly, it will help establish a compatible border management system and provide training. Lastly, Canada would help in building capacity of both states to institutionalize dialogue and information-sharing mechanisms. All these efforts by Canadian government would help Afghanistan and Pakistan to check cross border terrorism and curb safe havens of Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the volatile border areas. Canadian assistance is aimed at bringing both states on one track where they can collectively fight a common enemy “terrorism”.
Afghanistan has suffered a lot from soviet war, and, subsequently, civil war which continued for many years; now war against terror has played havoc with the peace and security of Afghanistan. Current economic condition of Afghanistan poses a bleak picture of this war-ravaged country. More than 35% of the Afghan population is living under extreme poverty and almost 42% of Afghan population lives on less than $1 a day. This shows that Afghanistan is in serous economic crisis and it needs continued economic support from international community for atleast next one decade.
In this regard, Canada’s role is commendable. Canada has a huge economy with an estimated nominal GDP of $US 1.74 trillion. It is also eleventh largest economy in the world. It has the capacity and willingness to help fragile economy of Afghanistan. Canada has recently pledged $227 million in aid to Afghanistan after Tokyo conference. This aid will focus on health care, human resource development, education, empowerment of the Afghan women and protection of human rights in Afghanistan.
Canada has already pledged $300 million from 2011 to 2014, but this recent $227 million would be spent on the post-withdrawal development of Afghanistan. This shows Canada’s long-term commitment to the rehabilitation, reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.
Canada’s role for the peace and stability of Afghanistan is commendable. Canada is enabling Afghan security forces to meet challenges lying ahead. It is necessary for the international community to collectively work for the stability of Afghanistan and ensure that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for the Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants.