Sunday September 26, 2021

Aftermath of US withdrawal: More violence feared in Afghanistan

Aftermath of US withdrawal: More violence feared in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: There is lurking fear for more violence in the aftermath of the withdrawal of the US and Nato forces from the country, at a time when the South-Asian region is transiting through critical times laced with ardent hope for peace to return to Afghanistan.

To address these issues a dialogue was organised by the Regional Peace Institute (RPI), to ensure that in such times that sane and pragmatic voices should speak with an open, dispassionate and candid mind to set forth their take on the ongoing developments and how best to address the challenges.

In this backdrop, a Track-II platform was provided for these voices to speak regarding a number of issues which are integral to the cause of bringing peace and development in Afghanistan and throughout the region. The first round of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Track-II Dialogue was held in Islamabad on June 14-15.

Delegates from Afghanistan, Doha and Pakistan comprising representation from a variety of backgrounds participated in the dialogue. They included, from Afghanistan, Sayed Hamed Gailani, Mirwais Yasini, Dr. Ghairat Bahir, former ambassadors to Pakistan Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal and Janan Mosazai, cleric Abdul Salam Abid, journalist Said Lotfullah Najafizada, Hassina Syed, Sahraa Karimi and Hasiba Efat.

From Pakistan, Ambassadors Riaz Mohammad Khan, Jalil Abbas Jilani, Aziz Ahmed Khan, Ayaz Wazir, Mohammad Sadiq, Fauzia Nasreen, Riffat Masood and Tasnim Aslam attended the dialogue.

Others who also attended included former foreign minister and parliamentarian Hina Rabbani Khar, parliamentarians Andleeb Abbas, Shandana Gulzar Khan and Nafisa Khattak, activist Sarwar Bari, economists Abid Suleri and Vaqar Ahmed, and Javed Hasan.

Held under the umbrella theme of “Stepping into the future -Peace, partnership, progress”, four working sessions were held to discuss critical challenges including “The dynamics of peace process - Hopes and impediments”, “The centrality of women’s role in the future of Afghanistan – inclusivity for societal growth and sustainability”, “Post-withdrawal paradigm – Forging economic partnerships for sustainable progress” and “Parliamentary cooperation - Strengthening democracy and cementing bilateral relations”.

The dialogue was formally inaugurated by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mohammad Qureshi on June 14 who spoke candidly regarding the dire need for peace by forging consensus among all stakeholders in Afghanistan so that peace could return to the war-ravaged country.