As part of its Ambassador Lecture Series, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) in collaboration with the India International Center (IIC), hosted Ambassador Abdali to deliver a lecture and take part in an interaction at IIC on Friday, July 5, 2013. The topic of the said interaction was: “Winning or Failing in Afghanistan, Implications for Regional Stability & Global Security”. The event was chaired by Ambassador T. C. A. Rangachari, former Indian Ambassador to Algeria, France and Germany and currently the Director of Academy of International Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia.

In his lecture, Ambassador Abdali gave account of the recent economic, political, security developments, the status of the peace process in Afghanistan, and Afghanistan – India relations.

Most of the interaction focused on the recently opened Taliban office in Doha. On the subject of this office, Ambassador Abdali said: “The Taliban flag hoisted in their Doha office and the sign board of the so called ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ was an attempt to divide Afghanistan, but this attempt failed like it did in the 90’s and will fail in the future too. The Government and people of Afghanistan, regardless of their political affiliations or beliefs, took a united stand by raising a concerted voice against this attempt and succeeded in bringing down the Taliban flag and sign board”.

The lecture was followed by a Q&A session. In reply to a question on what Afghanistan expected from the world, Ambassador Abdali said: “Afghanistan expects partnerships, not interference. No one can dictate our relations with anyone”. He welcomed India’s position on peace talks, as well as that of Russia China and others’.

On Afghan – US relations, while thanking the Government and people of the United States for their generous assistance to Afghanistan, Ambassador Abdali said that Afghanistan supports US presence in the country beyond 2014 provided Afghanistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected. He added that Afghanistan strongly seeks a political settlement to the ongoing problem in the country, but cannot compromise on the shared gains of Afghanistan and the international community in the last 12 years. He further noted that Afghanistan’s relations with its international partners have so far been tactical and operational, but the fulfillment of their commitments in the framework of partnerships beyond 2014 is strategic and we are working on building such relations.

On the role of major regional powers in bringing stability to Afghanistan, Ambassador Abdali said that major regional powers like India, China and Russia should make shared efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan and thus, ensure regional stability. In response to a question on the impact of improved relations between India and Pakistan on Afghanistan, he said that the improvement of relations between India and Pakistan will certainly have its positive impacts to help improve the situation in Afghanistan.

In response to a question on the current economic crises in the region, Ambassador Abdali said that regional economic integration is the only way out of the economic crises the region is facing and Afghanistan is working vigorously to implement major projects with other countries in the region, for regional economic integration. Below is the link for the whole speech:

Remarks of HE Ambassador Abdali at IPCS 7-5-13

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