The Pak Afghan Youth Forum was honored to host a delegation from Afghanistan. It included former governors, heads of Non-Government Organizations & journalists. Over the course of the 3 days, the delegation enjoyed a packed itinerary, which included visits to thinks tanks, the Foreign Office & the National Security Adviser’s Office. The purpose of this visit was to allow Pakistani think tanks & NGOs to come together to discuss the onset of a humanitarian crisis & discuss measures to counter it. The Conference ‘Rebuilding Afghanistan Together’ gathered an audience comprised of politicians, diplomats, media persons, and students. The Institute of Regional Studies (IRS) partnered with PAYF on this initiative.
Moreover, the conference was the climax of the visit. The conference operated as a consortium of think tanks and NGOs offering solutions and set precedent for discourse generation to counter future problems. These solutions aren’t just grounded in academia, but also ensured viability & relevance to the current situation.
Life Beyond War: Rebuilding Afghanistan
The first session included discussions regarding the future of Afghanistan and Afghans. Its emphasis was primarily towards understanding the ground reality before anything else. The panelists that contributed towards this session were Ambassador (R) Abdul Basit and Dr. Maria Sultan from Pakistan whereas, Maulvi Ataurahman Saleem and Jamaluddin Badar represented the Afghan side. Nadia Naqi moderated the session; the discussion revolved around the necessity of education, health, peace, and security as a prerequisite to an effective governing system. An inclusive government & an integrative society are a must for an inclusive future.
Humanitarian Action in Afghanistan: Challenges for Pakistan
Ahsan Hamid Durrani moderated the second session of the conference. The discussion was based on the importance of identifying the challenges and how to overcome them in a way that is feasible and suitable to all the stakeholders. Furthermore, the panelists that contributed to this session were Farhat Asif, Wajiha Akram, Fajr Rabia Pasha, and Ibrahim Carlos. Whereas Obaidullah Agha, Husni Mubarak Azizi, and Painda Mohammad Hikmat represented the Afghan side. The discussion revolved around the importance of the protection of human rights in Afghanistan where basic rights like education and availability of basic necessities are important. Furthermore, it was also said that sustainable development and capacity building of institutions is the need of the hour.
Uphill Journey: Response, Plan & Way Forward
The third session of the conference clarified the way forward to rebuilding Afghanistan. The panelists that contributed towards this session were Muhammad Ali, Dr. Talat Shabbir, Ambassador Abrar, and Ambassador (R) Asif Durrani from Pakistan. Moreover, Ahmadullah Alizai and Fatima Sadat represented the Afghan side. With Sumaira Khan as moderator, the discussion circulated on the importance of regional connectivity and assistance. It highlighted the role that Pakistan & other regional actors can play in rebuilding Afghanistan. Moreover, it highlighted the immediate barriers that need to be overcome to ensure the return of peace & security.
The Pak Afghan Cooperation Forum is created in response to the problems highlighted in this conference. In essence, the conference focused on bringing up viable solutions. So far, the Forum has successfully sent Assistance in the form of food items & medicine to help our Afghan brethren.