by Abdul Haleem
KABUL, Sept. 29, (Xinhua) -- A female lawmaker in Afghanistan's lower house of parliament has described China as good neighbor and believes that Chinese investment especially in the mining sector can help Afghans to achieve peace in the militancy- battered country.
Fauzia Kofi, in talks with Xinhua recently, maintained that poverty and unemployment can aid the armed opposition groups to hire fighters and bolster the war against the government.
"Investment in minerals would help create jobs for a large number of unemployed individuals," the lawmaker said.
Kofi, a women's rights activist, eminent lawmaker and recognized author, hailing from the northern Badakhshan province, said that her native province Badakhshan is rich with untapped natural resources, such as lapis lazuli, gold and silver, among others, adding that China could invest in Badakhshan's hidden precious minerals.
Brushing aside security threats, Kofi said that the locals would support any investment in building roads, for example, to connect Badakhshan to China.
"Local people would maintain security, if such a route were built, and drive out insurgents from their villages and suburbs if they felt their livelihoods were under threat," Kofi asserted.
The female lawmaker and proponent of women's rights said that women's status in China could be a model for Afghanistan to improve women's rights.
"I think China is a good example of a country that upholds women's rights, because in China, females often own their own businesses as entrepreneurs who empower themselves," she said.
Recalling the abusive behavior of the Taliban against women, the female legislator said that the Taliban militants, like their past policies, are still against women's education and both the Taliban and the Islamic State (IS) insurgent group do not allow girls to go to school in areas controlled by militants.
She also noted that a number of women from her province, even some uneducated women, have traveled to China to attend business exhibitions and have learned how to establish businesses.
She added that exchanges of delegates and people-to-people contacts would strengthen relations between the two neighboring countries.