The House of Lords International Defence Committee has now concluded its work on the UK and Afghanistan inquiry and the official report has now been published.
Discussing Afghan Peace Process, Global and Regional Powers and Afghanistan's Economy/SDG's
CFA joined the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee's inquiry into the UK and Afghanistan. As part of the inquiry, on 30th November, our Executive Director, Shabnam Nasimi provided written evidence on the challenges facing Afghanistan today, covering topics from the expected peace deal, economy and trade, Afghanistan's constitution & regional and global powers playing significant roles in the country's security and political environment.
Afghan Peace Process
Afghanistan has advanced over the last 20 years, and these tentative gains need to be protected. At the core of this is ceasefire – in order to move forward the Taliban will need to stop violence and attacks; and it is crucial that the UK supports this before any political settlement is agreed upon.
Economy and Trade
China was interested in oil and gas transiting from Central Asia through Afghanistan. China planned to expand the China–Pakistan economic corridor “to Afghanistan and beyond into central Asia, especially Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan”.
This would ensure “China and Pakistan controlled the connectivity of Afghanistan and its central Asian neighbours to the rest of the world”. Pakistani ports in Karachi and Gwadar were “expected to be pivotal in that strategy of being the dominant nation in central and south-west Asia
Afghanistan''s Constitutional Arrangements
Afghan constitution as “winner-take-all” and “extraordinarily centralised”: “the President appoints not only a large portion of the parliament but every governor, every district governor and every chief of police, as well as senior positions within the administrative structure and the executive branch. Historically, Afghanistan had a decentralised system of government and there is "scope” for a more decentralised approach to work reasonably well.
Regional and Global powers are playing the most significant role in Afghanistan’s political and security environment
Russia is no longer a major actor in Afghan affairs, but the US’s ongoing engagement means it retains an interest, and it has cultivated relations with the Taliban.