UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy on Afghanistan and Regional issues.
Islamabad : The Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa (CAMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) hosted in – house meeting with Mr. Jean Arnault, UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy on Afghanistan and Regional issues.
Director General Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry gave a brief overview of the situation in Afghanistan and the consistent and constructive role Pakistan has been trying to play in achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan. He was of the view that while Afghanistan may appear to be a regional issue, it has the seeds to become a global issue once again, therefore it is essential that Afghanistan is not abandoned. While the future does not appear to be optimistic, there is a ray of hope that regional consensus still exists and in this regard Pakistan will continue to extend its support for a peaceful settlement.
Amina Khan, Director, Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa (CAMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) stated that unlike the past, there was a regional consensus amongst Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, which entails regional ownership, recognition of a negotiated settlement and Afghan Taliban as a major component of the peace process, as well as curbing transnational terrorism and groups like the ISKP. She said that focus should be on a responsible and measured withdrawal which is the responsibility of the US and not regional stakeholders, since the US is a primary signatory of the US- Taliban agreement.
During the interaction, views were exchanged on the latest developments within Afghanistan, impediments to the peace process, the role of the region, international community and the UN towards the overall future of Afghanistan. There was a general consensus that a peaceful solution through a negotiated settlement is crucial not only for Afghanistan itself, but the region and international community at large. The reduction of violence as an essential component for peace was also highlighted. Focus was also laid on a regional approach towards peace and stability in Afghanistan, bringing together all concerned stakeholders through consensus and cooperation. The UN’s ongoing role in Afghanistan was also discussed. Moreover, Pakistan’s consistent and constructive role in trying to help achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan was also discussed at length.