Afghanistan and Pakistan after 2014: The Role of Regional Powers

ASIA - 12/12/2012

On 7 December 2012, policy makers, regional experts and journalists gathered in Brussels to participate in the debate Afghanistan and Pakistan after 2014: The role of regional powers, hosted by CIDOB and the Security and Defence Agenda (SDA). The debate was moderated by Dr. Emma Hooper, Project Director of The Sources of Tension in Afghanistan and Pakistan: A Regional Perspective Project and Senior Research Fellow Associate at CIDOB.

Descripción

On 7 December 2012, policy makers, regional experts and journalists gathered in Brussels to participate in the debate Afghanistan and Pakistan after 2014: The role of regional powers, hosted by CIDOB and the Security and Defence Agenda (SDA). The debate was moderated by Dr. Emma Hooper, Project Director of The Sources of Tension in Afghanistan and Pakistan: A Regional Perspective Project and Senior Research Fellow Associate at CIDOB.

The first speaker on the panel, Ann Wilkens, Former Ambassador of Sweden to Pakistan (2003-2007) warned of important fault lines running through Pakistan's society, and predicted that "either good or bad elections in Pakistan in 2014 could set an example for the region".

Michael Semple, former EU Deputy Special Representative to Afghanistan and currently at Harvard University's Carr Centre for Human Rights, also argued how interdependent Afghanistan, Pakistan and the wider region are. For Semple, "a peace deal in Afghanistan would completely change the dynamics, and indeed the legitimacy, of militant groups in Pakistan and beyond".

However, Thomas Ruttig, Co-Director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), reminded the audience that "Afghanistan's instability is still mostly due to domestic factors and not external interference".

Throughout the speakers’ interventions and the public's questions and comments, a desire for the EU to play a more significant role in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region --for example, by pushing for Afghan reconciliation- was clearly voiced.

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