Published on April 13, 2011 in Diplomatic Pouch

When I first joined the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C., in 2004, as director of government and media relations, the embassy lacked everything from a basic management structure to carry out its routine diplomatic activities to a website that could help facilitate customer service online. The concept of public diplomacy through direct dialogue with the American people — explaining to them our shared interests in securing the future of Afghanistan — was unknown.
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Published on March 01, 2019 in Tolo News

India and Pakistan joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as full member-states in the 8-9 June 2017 SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. Before the addition of the two South Asian nations, the SCO consisted of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The now eight-member SCO also has four observer-states, including Afghanistan, and six dialogue-partners, including Sri Lanka. In total and together, they constitute much of the Asian geography with a population of over three billion people.

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Published on March 01, 2018 in The National Interest

This past November, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released its annual survey of opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan for 2017. As ever, the survey’s findings are hardly surprising. They reflect the periodic fluctuations in the amount of opium poppy cultivated and produced in the country. Last year, cultivation increased to 328,000 hectares and production to nine thousand metric tons—a 87 percent increase over 2016.

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Published on February 14, 2018 in Observer Research Foundation

Do Afghans abroad ever think about their debt of service to Afghanistan and doing something about it? They may rarely do so. But let us begin with the basic fact that the land Afghans call home is diversely populated, geographically landlocked, politically and economically least developed, and unfortunately located in a predatory neighborhood where at least one of their neighbors sees her raison d’être partly dependent on instability in Afghanistan.

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Published on November 13, 2017 in Pajhwok Afghan News

Over the past 16 years, Afghanistan has been a victim of state-sponsorship of terrorism. As a proxy of a regional state, the Taliban have daily killed and maimed innocent Afghans, while destroying the infrastructure that should help connect and integrate Afghanistan with its surrounding resourceful regions in the North and South for increased trade, business, and investment.

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Afghanistan Celebrates India’s Post-Independence Achievements

Published on August 18, 2016 in The Diplomat Magazine

On August 15, 2016, the backyard of the Indian embassy in Kabul filled with Afghans of every walk and every ethno-sectarian background for a reception to celebrate the 70th anniversary of India’s independence. Afghan guests lined up from the embassy’s entrance door to the area where the ambassador of India to Afghanistan, Manpreet Vohra, and his colleagues were welcoming guests. Afghans extended to the ambassador, the Indian people, and the Indian residents in Afghanistan their heartfelt congratulations on India’s independence and wished Indians welfare and prosperity, in peaceful coexistence with their neighbors.

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Published on October 07, 2017 in Observer Research Foundation

In a recent New York Times article What Trump Needs to Learn from Vietnam, David Elliot draws lessons from America’s experience in Vietnam for Afghanistan. His opinion follows those of a few others, who have similarly argued over the past 16 years that Afghanistan has slowly turned into America’s Vietnam, a quagmire, from which the United States must disengage. While studying the complexity of Vietnam War remains interesting for academics and policymakers, it offers no relevant lessons for international engagement in Afghanistan.

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Orlando Shooting Has Nothing to Do With Afghanistan and IslamPublished on June 16, 2016 in The Diplomat Magazine

Like the rest of the world and the American people, Afghans have been shocked by the heinous crime committed by U.S. citizen Omar Mateen against his fellow Americans this past Sunday. He brutally killed 49 innocent civilians and wounded another 53 in Orlando, Florida. Afghanistan has joined nations around the world in condemning, in the strongest terms possible, this inhumane crime.

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