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Afghanistan 2017 and Beyond: A View from India

A conversation with His Excellency Mr Rakesh Sood

Afghanistan has often been described as 'the graveyard of empires'. Like all myths, this contains an element of truth but is also an exaggeration. When king Zahir Shah was overthrown in a coup in 1973, the country became the theatre where the super-powers’ rivalry began to be played out and Pakistan became a major player.  With the end of the Cold War, Afghanistan had to deal both with the internal forces that had been unleashed and the action of regional players. Al Qaeda found a hospitable host in the Taliban-ruled Afghanistan but 9/11 saw the return of the US to the country with the support of the international community. Yet, after 16 years, Afghanistan remains unstable. Violent extremism has risen, donor fatigue has set in, attempts at reconciliation remain inconclusive, regional players are again active, and the recent modest gains are at risk.

What went wrong? What is the way forward? Can the regional players and the international community support an Afghan vision of the future? HE Mr Rakesh Sood, a prominent Indian diplomat and former Ambassador to Kabul, will share his experience and views on those questions.

This event is organised in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of India to the Conference of Disarmament in Geneva.

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GCSP, Maison de la paix

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