Published on May 22, 2020 in The Diplomat

Days before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, violence had already escalated in March, taking the lives and limbs of hundreds of innocent civilians across Afghanistan. But Afghans were hoping that there would be a pause, if the Taliban honored their own words on the essence of the month of Ramadan as a period when Muslims must carry out deeds of compassion, charity, forgiveness, reconciliation, piety, and struggle against worldly greed and selfishness as a “Greater Jihad.” Unfortunately, that hope was soon dashed, as the Taliban continued escalating violence, targeting innocent civilians — including women, children, and infants — throughout Ramadan.

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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 December 28, 2017 in The Diplomat Magazine

Any assessment of where Afghanistan stands today needs to be put into its historical context. In doing so, it should be recalled that even before the advent of the present conflict, Afghanistan had been one of the least developed countries in the world. The country’s development was hindered by competing Russian and British empires for more than two centuries. The imperial tensions and rivalry effectively reduced Afghanistan to one of the most isolated buffer states in the world. But before the colonial era, Afghanistan had been the roundabout of the ancient Silk Road, indeed, its gateway to the north, south, east, and west for commercial and civilizational interactions.Continue reading

Published on February, 2016 in Diplomatist

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

Published on September 10, 2010 in The Washington Times

This summer, the Afghan government hosted the first International Conference on Afghanistan in Kabul. Our allies from around the world recommitted to a firm partnership with the Afghan government as we begin taking over and gradually leading the stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. We welcomed Pakistan as an important regional partner in the fight against terrorism and extremism, which destabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan alike. And we continue to believe that the war can be won only through a concerted international partnership, with an emphasis on integration and strategic coordination of military and civilian assistance to Afghanistan.

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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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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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In early May 1992, Mujahideen resistance fighters entered Kabul, laying claim to Afghanistan’s capital after the collapse of the communist regime. At the time, the city had not been severely damaged by warfare and Soviet occupation. The 27 years since then have not been kind to Kabul, though. One reason that no one has been able to put a stop to Afghanistan’s cycle of violence is that regional and international political interests have, for the last 40 years, eclipsed the best interests of the Afghan people. Continue reading

Published on June 21, 2015 in The Diplomat Magazine 

The relationship between Sufism and Sikhism dates back to the time of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), who led a modest life of profound, spiritual devotion, focused on building bridges of love, tolerance, co-existence, and harmony among peoples of diverse faiths and socio-economic status. So immersed in piety and teaching his disciples to live spiritually, honestly, and harmoniously was the Guru, that many of his Muslim contemporaries, especially Sufis, called him a true Muslim.Continue reading