As of this writing, over one million people in 181 countries are confirmed to have been infected by COVID-19 (coronavirus), according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. The novel pandemic has left no race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and ideology behind, as it continues ravaging all communities without distinction. Victims include citizens of all ages, genders, and diverse socio-economic status—including world leaders and celebrities in democratic and non-democratic societies alike—across the globe.Continue reading
The Silk Road was a network of trade routes that for centuries played a central role in facilitating cultural and commercial interaction across Eurasia. The terrestrial and maritime routes of the Silk Road connected Asia and Europe, the East and West, stretching from the Korean peninsula and Japan to the Mediterranean Sea. The Afghan cities of Kabul, Balkh, Herat, Kandahar, and Bamyan constituted some of the key ancient cities through which the Silk Road passed.Continue reading
In the 11th Silk Road Mayors Forum (SRMF) in Iran last September, the World Citizens Organization (WCO) and members of the SRMF unanimously selected the historic Kabul City to host the next SRMF on October 20, 2017. This rightfully recognized Afghanistan’s ancient status as the heir of the Silk Road civilization and a regional intersection that connects people, businesses, cultures, civilizations, and consequently invites friendship and cooperation. It also demonstrates increased international confidence in the administrative capacity of the Afghan government under President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.Continue reading
India remains an integral part of Afghanistan’s steady progress in institutionalising peace, pluralism, and prosperity. Ties between Afghanistan and India go beyond the traditionally strong relations at the government level. Since time immemorial, people of Afghanistan and India have interacted with each other through trade and commerce, peacefully coexisting on the basis of their shared cultural values and commonalities. This history has become the foundation of deep mutual trust. Public opinion polls in Afghanistan confirm this, as well as the sentiment Afghans share about feeling at home whenever they visit India.
Partnership defines this fast shrinking century. Since the end of the Cold War, the world has increasingly become interdependent both in security and economic development terms. That is why countries no longer speak with the kind of zero-sum undertones, which they used to do in the last decades of the Cold War and the early years of the post-Cold War. At least in rhetoric, ‘win-win partnership’ has replaced the realpolitik jargon of the past century and increasingly guides states towards a new world order whereby every state should be afforded the opportunity to grow and develop alongside the rest.Continue reading
In complex post-conflict environments such as Afghanistan, security and development needs are intertwined. Without addressing both at the same time, it would be hard to ensure an environment that enables sustainable economic growth. In other words, bullets alone cannot remedy Afghanistan’s current situation. In fact, as former U.S. President Bill Clinton once said, “it’s the economy stupid,” something that is even more relevant in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.Continue reading
It is true that Afghanistan and Pakistan are fighting a common enemy in the Taliban and al Qaeda. But the nature of insurgency and engagement is quite different in the two countries. The Pakistani military is fighting an insurgency mainly against its own people. It’s different in Afghanistan: government forces are fighting both local militants and terrorist mercenaries that primarily infiltrate from, and are trained and equipped by, elements from across the country’s southeastern border.Continue reading