The Heart of Asia Society (HAS) is an independent Afghan think tank working toward sustainable peace in Afghanistan and shared prosperity in the Heart of Asia region by fostering symbiotic relationships that increase connectivity and build confidence among stakeholders. HAS prioritizes support for the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan through a program of research, dialogue, and capacity building.
Founded in 2019 by former Afghan diplomats Jawed Ludin and Janan Mosazai and joined by a team of seasoned researchers and an Advisory Council of national and international experts, HAS draws on the wide reach of its team to design and engage in programming that strengthens cooperation and understanding between Afghanistan and its neighbors, contributes to knowledge creation and academic vibrancy within and about Afghanistan, and fosters gender and ethnic inclusion by promoting informed policy and engagement with civil society. In all its programming outcomes, HAS prioritizes and supports the finding regional consensus for the peace process and its implementation.
The Heart of Asia Society’s flagship project in partnership with the Center on International Cooperation at New York University and the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in Doha is an ongoing series of high-level Track 2 discussions involving scholars and specialists from Afghanistan and major regional and international partners with a stake in the Afghan peace process. Informed by insights from this series, HAS conducts research to identify and facilitate the implementation of solutions for the complex challenges in Afghanistan as well as problems with cross-border dimensions. This includes contributing to knowledge-building by partnering with national and international think tanks to provide academic analysis on issues and trends of the political, security, and socio-economic conditions of the region. The HAS research team designs and implements projects with publicly available results and also conducts research on sensitive subjects identified through dialogue with regional experts to produce topical and policy briefs provided to key stakeholders of the ongoing peace process. The Heart of Asia Society is committed to conducting impartial research on issues related to all actors in the conflict while remaining dedicated to a vision of Afghanistan that safeguards the rights of men and women of all ethnicities and religions, respects and values diversity, and promotes inclusivity and agency for its citizens.
It is one of our foundational goals to:
1. contribute to knowledge creation and academic vibrancy in and about Afghanistan and the region as a whole;
2. promote confidence-building through deepening academic and political dialogue and co-operation;
3. increase and broaden contacts, interaction, education, understanding, exchange through civil society and people to people initiatives;
4. serve as a policy watch dog for public policies in Afghanistan and other countries in the region concerning key issues, such as security, peace, economic prosperity and environment; and
5. serve as a permanent resource centre for Afghanistan and countries of the region with a particular focus on regional cooperation, connectivity and confidence building in the region.
Through academic research and facilitating dialogue, we aim to:
a) promote innovative thinking and ideas;
b) undertake independent research on issues that are of significance for strengthening regional cooperation;
d) organise track 2 and track 1.5 meetings with the aim of facilitating dialogue and interaction for academic and policy experts from Afghanistan and the region;
e) provide academic analysis of the issues and trends on political, security, and socio-economic conditions of the region;
g) provide empirical inputs to major policy decisions through scientific studies and analyses as well as to advocate for sound policies; and
h) enhance dialogue, understanding and cooperation at the civil society level between Afghanistan and countries of the region.