Col. Imam speaks on Afghanistan: Today and Tomorrow

Col. Imam speaks on Afghanistan: Today and Tomorrow

IPS organized a talk by Col. Sultan Amir, generally known as “Colonel Imam”, on the current situation and future outlook of Afghanistan. The program began with brief remarks by DG IPS  Khalid Rahman.

A retired soldier and former Councilor General of Heratt, Col. Imam discussed in detail the United States’ role in Afghanistan since the country was invaded by the USSR. He was of the view that the US acted shortsightedly when it withdrew its support for Afghanistan had it invested a little more in the country, the Taliban would never have been needed for law and order. He dismissed the current US control of Afghanistan as ineffective, and lamented that American envoys in Afghanistan had “contributed nothing towards establishing peace and harmony.” America was seen to be riding roughshod over Afghans  in order to secure its economic interests in the region.

Col. Imam defended various decisions of the Taliban regime and was of the opinion that the regime had had comparatively better success in restoring law and order in the country. He elaborated that the US was not solely responsible for the quagmire in which Afghans find themselves; Afghanistan’s own warlords had weakened the country with infighting and Pakistan had also intervened at the expense of Afghan interests.

The talk was followed by a lively question-answer session  during which scholars, experts, policy analysts and diplomats raised questions and sought Col. Imam’s views on various developments and dimensions of the Afghan situation. Mr. Imtiaz Gul, veteran journalist and correspondent of Voice of Germany, acted as moderator. IPS Chairman Prof. Khurshid Ahmad was also present on the occasion.

9 June 2005

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