Urdu point Lahore
Published Date: Jun 26, 2018
Speakers at a seminar here Monday said for development, stability and peace in Afghanistan all the stakeholders, including regional and international, needed to be involved for a sustainable solution of the conflict.
Defence and strategic studies experts Dr Salma Malik of Quaid-e-Azam University, Dr Talat Farooq of University of Birmingham and David Vestenskov of Royal Danish Defence College (RDDC) were the speakers at the seminar organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
The main thrust of the seminar was to discussing how friends of Afghanistan could help achieve the goals of development, stability and peace in that country and also to look at the Danish Stabilization programme for trust-building and increased cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Danish Stabilization programme project coordinator and RDDC representative David Vestenskov explained the reasons for the prolonged Afghan conflict.
The conflict, he said, had begun with the American invasion of Afghanistan to eliminate the perpetrators of 9/11 terrorist attacks.
He said it was clear to the West that peace in Afghanistan was not possible without Pakistan’s involvement. However, military and academic coordination and cooperation among military institutions was necessary to strengthen efforts in that regard, he added.
He said the project would focus on implementation of the policies and innovative suggestions made after discussions on the matter. He had also made a research on the role of Madaris (religious seminaries) assessing financial pipelines, parental choice to send their children to the religious seminary and recent development in religious education in pakistan and Afghanistan. The study found that most of the assets came from domestic sources, he added.
Dr Talat Hussain lauded the efforts of Denmark for making incredible achievements in the stabilization project. She believed that it was unfair to hold Pakistan responsible for the failure of US military action in Afghanistan as tribal system prevailed in the very roots of the Afghan society.
She said there was a serious issue of power sharing among Afghan warlords while the Afghan army also had problems of competence and corruption resulting into the failure of efforts bringing them to table for peace.
She admired the positive developments taking place in the Afghan peace process as the initiative taken by President Ashraf Ghani and Taliban’s call for political solution of the conflict and their support for the Afghanistan’s section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. She said the United States and her Western allies should better their behaviour towards Pakistan and accept its contributions towards the process.
Dr Salma Malik said the Afghan society was a complex one despite having centuries old relationships. It needed an objective approach to make all the measures taken to be fruitful in Afghan peace and prosperity, she added.
She said it was clear that Pakistan had no objection to give Afghanistan her due role in deciding its fate, but various international actors contributing in Pak-Afghan ties had to involve in the process.
She said Pakistan after Turkey hosted the largest number of refugees without any foreign support.