Building Peace and Connectivity through Research and Dialogue

The Taliban “must engage with the Afghan people inside the country as well.”

The Heart of Asia Society, in collaboration with Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies and New York University’s Center on International Cooperation hosted the 14th session of our Track 2 dialogue series on regional & international support to Afghanistan.

The session assessed the current situation in Afghanistan and the future of engagement with the Taliban interim government. In a keynote speech delivered by one of the participants from Kabul, members were informed about the current dire economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The keynote speaker stressed on engagement only to establish a line of communication among all sides. During this winter, the Afghan people are suffering from an acute humanitarian crisis, the collapse of the economy, and a dysfunctional government.

Dialogue participants stressed that while several countries have pledged humanitarian aid, food assistance is not enough to meet the needs of the Afghan people. In order to alleviate the struggles of the Afghan people, more support and coordination of the international community is required. Participants emphasized on more engagement among the various domestic and external stakeholders in the current situation in Afghanistan.

Afghan participants highlighted the Taliban desire and efforts to engaging with leaders near and far. They emphasized the need for the Taliban leaders to engage with the Afghan people as much as they are keen to engage with foreigners seeking recognition and support.

Political settlement is another major issue that needs to be addressed. Without a political settlement that includes all segments of the Afghan society, the political crisis will remain to exist. Lastly, the issue of establishing an inclusive government that respects the rights of all Afghan men and women remains crucial as the Afghan people continue to demand to live with equal rights for all.