A short report of the 7th meeting of the Board of Directors of the

India – Afghanistan Foundation

19 October 2013, Kabul

 

The 7th meeting of the Board of Directors of India – Afghanistan Foundation (IAF) was held at the Indian Ambassador’s residence in Kabul on October 19, 2013.

Present in the meeting were Ambassador Amar Sinha of India, Ambassador Shaida Mohammad Abdali of Afghanistan (two Co-Chairs of IAF), Prof. Mohammad QasimJamdar, Prof. Nazar Mohammad Azizi, Ms. NajibaMaram (Board members from Afghanistan), Mr. Anand Kishore Sahay (Board member from India) as well as the two secretaries of IAF Mr. Safiullah Delawar (Delhi Chapter) and Mr. Niteen Yeola (Kabul Chapter).

After exchange of pleasantries the board members decided to review all pending projects from feasibility aspect, prioritize the pending projects and categorize them in terms of urgency time lines- immediate/ medium and long term. The Board also decided that although all members of the foundation are busy people, and Ambassadors have a hectic schedule, the board members need to take up specific activities so that decision is carried forward and the following decisions were taken:

  • There should be more communication between secretariat and members of the foundation.
  • There should be more efforts to raise the profile of the foundation as well as increase the public outreach. IAF can partner itself with some reputed organizations in suitable manner.
  • Proposal to hold a conference in JNU (Silk Road Research Foundation) was approved.
  • The IAF would support to upgrade Afghanistan Studies (Pashto language department) in JNU from Diploma level to degree level.
  • More interaction needs to happen between Nangrahar University and suitable University in India (JNU).
  • Website of the foundation:  suitable partner - person or agency to update the website on regular basis is to be found out, and the website should be linked to relevant institutions in India and Afghanistan such as Persian and Pashto Departments of universities in India and Hindi Departments in Afghanistan.

The proposals approved and categorized in terms of urgency time lines- immediate/ medium and long term are as follow:

 

A- Immediate:

  • Establishment of Afghan-India Cultural Halls in the embassies of the two countries.
  • A documentary on Afghans/Pashtuns in India who migrated to India many years ago.
  • Establishment/Funding existing Resource Centers in JNU and Kandahar University as a one-stop-shop for researchers on Indo-Afghan ties with books and other material on these ties and a Bedillogy Center.
  • Publishing of a spoken Pashto language guide for foreigners, written by Prof. Abdul Khaliq Rashid, and a Hindi-Pashto dictionary. The possibility of adding Dari to the dictionary should also be explored.
  • Introduction of an Annual IAF Award to be conferred on a deserving personality from Afghanistan/India, each year.

 

B- Medium Term:

  • Collection, compilation and publishing a selection of Hazrat Bedil’sghazals (e.g. 100 easy Ghazals to begin with).
  • Feasibility study to be conducted on printing of brochures for Afghan medical tourists providing them with information on different specialty hospitals, their services, different departments, rates, etc.
  • Compile and publish a collection of articles on Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan and Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Make a documentary on Buddhist sites linking Afghanistan and India. Mr. BenoyBehal should be contacted for this purpose.
  • Request RTA to dub in Pashto and Dari a documentary on Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan (Badshah Khan) produced by T. C. Mcluhan.
  • Attracting concrete proposals on measures to promote Bedil studies in existing departments of Farsi in India, and as appropriate in Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan.
  • Publishing and distributing the translation of Maulana AbulKalam Azad's book, "Ghobar-e-Khatir" (Letters from jail) by Mohammed AfsarRahbin in Dari through a leading Afghan publishing house.
  • Fund the translation of a book by Prof. Batra into Pashto. - Subject to more information and approval of the two governments, the IAF should sponsor the process of obtaining copies of Afghan-related documents from the archives of the National Museum of India, during 1830-1947 era, for Afghanistan National Museum.

- Sponsoring short term training of Afghan youth for museum, archival and ethnographic museum studies

 

C- Long Term:

  • Research on historic links between the Chishtiasilsila (and perhaps other silsilas) of Afghanistan and India.
  • Afghanistan Towards Peace: Proposal to hold a workshop with Indian film-teachers and jury members to select 10 Afghan aspiring film-makers to make short films as part of a video film competition. The films will then form part of a larger art exhibition by 100 artists covering film, painting, photography, calligraphy, graphic and installation to be exhibited at the DarulAman Palace.
  • Fund the translation of books on Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan(Badshah Khan) written in India and/or Afghanistan into Pashto and Dari, as per the decision in the 5th Board meeting.

Above mentioned proposals were approved unanimously. It was also emphatically decided that the IAF must hold its meetings every six months, as per the General By-Laws, or even sooner than that, if deemed necessary.

The two secretaries of IAF, Mr. Delawar (Delhi Chapter) and Mr. Niteen Yeola (Kabul Chapter) presented financial reports of the two chapters and it was decided to have the accounts audited as per the bye law.

The next, 8th, meeting of the Board of Directors of the IAF to be held in New Delhi within six months and the two co-chairs will take up the issue of reconstitution of the boards with their respective Government.

It is also announced, hereby, that all relevant institutions and individuals can send their proposals related to the above mentioned projects in their area of expertise, within one month from the date of this release.

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