An eleven member delegation of the Regional Peace Institute (RPI) visited Kabul to participate in the 4th Round of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Bilateral Dialogue on January 22-23.
The delegation comprised Raoof Hasan, CEO, RPI, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Ambassador (R) M. Ayaz Wazir, Ambassador (R) Aziz Ahmad Khan, Syed Salman Ali Shah, Admiral (R) Fasih Bokhari, Lt. Gen. (R) Asif Yasin Malik, Lt. Gen. (R) Syed Sabahat Husain, Harris Khalique, Nasim Zehra and Shala A. Hasan.
The dialogue is jointly sponsored by RPI and the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS).
Four sessions were held on Day 1 discussing the issues of ‘Untangling the Taliban’, ‘Mapping Mutual Redlines’, ‘Accountability and Verification Mechanisms/Processes’ and ‘The Way Forward’. The two sessions on Day 2 were devoted to discussing ‘Towards a Paradigm Shift in Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations’ and the ‘International Perspectives’.
The presentations and discussions were marked by an exceptional level of honesty, frankness, candidness and forthrightness. This distinctive approach has been the hallmark of all bilateral engagements sponsored by AISS and RPI.
The delegation also had the pleasure of the company of the new Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Excellency Omar Zakhilwal who also hosted a dinner in honour of the visiting delegates.
The delegation members also called on the former President Excellency Hamid Karzai for a frank and candid conversation lasting an hour which touched on numerous irksome issues that have separated the two countries.
AISS and RPI reiterated the need for continuing the engagement during 2016 and beyond to help forge a sustainable platform to facilitate the two countries to divorce the bitter legacy of the past and work together for the cause of peace within their geographical boundaries as well as in the larger South-Asian region.