IPS organized a lecture “Afghanistan: Perspectives and Prospects” by former Chief Secretary of the Frontier Province and Commissioner Afghan Refugees Mr. Abdullah on October 9. Prof. Khurshid Ahmad chaired the session.
Mr. Abdullah said Afghans should be allowed to resolve their problems on their own and decide their future independently without any meddling or interference from outside. Peace and democracy cannot be imposed or ‘bombed in’ and Afghanistan’s neighbors and international community should let the process of state- and nation-building take shape there.
He said that peace in Afghanistan is also the key to peace and stability in the region. Foreign troops, under ISAF or any other arrangement, cannot restore peace to the war-ravaged country, rather, the most important issue today is “how Afghans can achieve withdrawal of foreign occupying forces,” he observed. On the ‘imperialistic’ designs of the United States, Mr. Abdullah referred to studies conducted by Western intelligence agencies, their advice to the US president to use narcotics as a political, military, and cultural weapon.
A lively question-answer session followed the lecture. The session concluded with brief remarks of the IPS Chairman Prof. Khurshid Ahmad.
9 October 2004