Doha Conference on Preparing for Afghanistan-2014
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Scholars and strategic analysts from VIF, RUSI U.K., China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, China Institute for International Studies, China Academy of Social Sciences and other Chinese think tanks and Afghan experts came together for a two day workshop at Doha, Qatar from 26 to 27 February 2014 to deliberate on likely post- 2014 Afghanistan environment and measures that should be taken to work towards peace, stability and prosperity.

The VIF delegation comprised of Gen (Retd) NC Vij, Lt Gen (Retd) Ravi Sawhney, Amb. TCA Rangachari and Brig (Retd) Vinod Anand. The conference was a follow up of workshops earlier held in VIF, New Delhi, Beijing and London.

The main areas of discussions were the evolving regional dynamics, security environment, economic outlook and ways for cooperation and prospects and status of reconciliation with the Taliban. In the regional dynamics session, the focus of discussion was on the role of regional frameworks like SCO, SAARC, and the efficacy of Heart of Asia process besides other actors. There was general optimism about the security situation post-2014 if the ANSF were given the required wherewithal in terms of military equipment and other capabilities with regular flow of funds. A negative outcome the Afghan conflict would definitely affect the region. Similarly, a successful economic transition would take many years possibly two decades and Afghanistan would continue to need funds during that period. Ways to improve the agricultural sector besides fast tracking the exploitation of mineral deposits would help Afghan government to reduce the revenue gap. There were possibilities of India, China and other neighbours cooperating in economic development of Afghanistan.

Reconciliation talks seemed to have reached a stalemate and some impetus to the same could be given after the April elections in Afghanistan. The Afghan representatives were of the view that talks should be Afghan government led and not merely Afghan led thus making a subtle distinction.
The results of the workshop including the previous ones would form the basis for a publication of document by the RUSI after due vetting by the other conference partners.

Event Date 
February 26, 2014
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