Published on June 28, 2017 in The Diplomat Magazine

On June 16, the New York Times published and op-ed titled “For Peace in Afghanistan, Talk to Pakistan.” The authors are right that Pakistan’s behavior must change if Afghanistan is to attain stability, but they’re naive in thinking that what they propose will produce such change.Continue reading

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 June 15, 2017 in The National Interest

When the Afghan government hosted the first meeting of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation on June 6, 2017, terrorists carried out a suicide attack on the ancient Great Mosque of Herat, killing ten fasting worshipers and wounding over twenty others. This followed back-to-back terrorist attacks that killed and injured more than seven hundred innocent civilians in Kabul in less than a week. In flagrant violation of the core tenets of Islam, a religion of peace and tolerance, and the key principles of international humanitarian law, this and many other terrorist attacks on Muslims and non-Muslims around the world have been carried out during the holy month of Ramadan.

Continue reading

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

Published on October 21, 2016 in The Diplomat Magazine 

The world annually celebrates Refugee Day in late June, an event that helps raise awareness about the plight, courage, and resilience of the world’s refugees. By contrast, internally displaced persons have no day of their own. It is time for this discrepancy to change.Continue reading

Published on June 22, 2017 in The New York Times

In “How to Bring Peace to Afghanistan” (Op-Ed, June 16), Stephen J. Hadley and Moeed Yusuf are right that Pakistan’s behavior must change if Afghanistan is to attain stability. But they are naïve in thinking that what they propose will produce such change.Continue reading

Published on September 26, 2017 in The Hill 

In a recent New York Times op-ed, “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.Continue reading

Published on August 08, 2018 in The Observer Research Foundation (ORF)

Recently, this author was invited to a track 1.5 China-Afghanistan-Pakistan symposium on “Tackling Terrorist Threats, Jointly Safeguarding Regional Security” in Beijing. The rare trilateral symposium was welcomed by the three sides as a good opportunity to exchange views and to offer tangible, policy and operational solutions for the consideration of their respective governments to help them address jointly the intertwined threats of terrorism, extremism, and criminality in the region. The discussions were so constructive on the seminal role, which major regional stakeholders can play to stabilise Afghanistan, that the absence of an Indian delegation was needfully felt around the table.Continue reading

Published on May 14, 2018 in The Diplomat Magazine

What is the main purpose of the Kabul Process for Peace and Security Cooperation?

President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah re-launched the Kabul Process in June 2017. The principal purpose of the process is to ensure an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, inclusive peace process where we are fully in the driver’s seat to address the multiple dimensions of ongoing war and violence in Afghanistan. But we know this is impossible without results-driven regional and international cooperation. Since its re-launch, the Kabul Process has been recognized as an overarching platform, under which all other peace initiatives and efforts take place to support Afghanistan in our quest for genuine, lasting peace. Because the success of the process hinges on sincere regional cooperation, we continue to call on our neighbors and partners in the region to develop measures necessary to end violence and to forge sustainable peace in Afghanistan. Doing so, we strongly believe, should create positive dividends for the entire region. Continue reading