A two day Inaugural Afghanistan-India Security Dialogue was jointly organized by the United Service Institution of India (USI), New Delhi and Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS), Afghanistan, in New Delhi on March 14-15, 2016.
The USI team comprised of Lt Gen P K Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd) and Director (USI), Lt Gen Vinay Shankar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Lt Gen PC Katoch, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SC (Retd), Maj Gen BK Sharma AVSM, SM & Bar (Retd), Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, PVSM, AVSM, NM & Bar (Retd), Ambassador Rakesh Sood, Ambassador Jayant Prasad, Ambassador Vivek Katju, Shri Shakti Sinha, Prof Gulshan Sachdeva and Dr Vishal Chandra. Besides, noted strategic experts on Afghanistan also participated in the deliberations.
The Afghan delegation was headed by Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta (Former Foreign Minister and NSA), and the other members of the team were Dr Davood Moradian (Director General, AISS), Mr Tamim Asey, Dr. Omar Sharifi, Mr Lotfullah Najafizada, Mr Assad Nissar, Mr Bilal Sarwary and Mr. Hasib Hamayoun.
The Indo- Afghan delegation
On the first day, the delegates had ‘indoor discussion with a restricted audience on security scenario in Afghanistan-India strategic partnership, energy and trade corridors and role of external players in peace building in Afghanistan.
The welcome remarks were given by Lt Gen P K Singh and Dr Dawood Moradian. The inaugural address was delivered by Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Ambassador Jayant Prasad.
Welcome and Inaugural address
Theme of the first session was ‘Security Scenario in Afghanistan- Internal dynamics & External Linkages and Regional Implications’. Ambassador Vivek Katju and Mr Tamim Asey presented their views in the session. Topic for the next session was ‘Afghanistan-India Strategic Partnership: Opportunities and Challenges’ and Shri Shakti Sinha and Dr Omar Sharifi spoke on this topic.
The Afghan Panelists
Theme for the third session was ‘Role of Regional & Extra Regional Players in establishing Peace & Security in Afghanistan’. Ambassador Jayant Prasad and Mr Lotfullah Najafizada presented their perspectives on this topic. Shri Gopal Baglay, IFS, Jt Secy (PIA) spoke on overall aspects of India-Afghanistan strategic relationship and answered questions put up by the Afghan delegation. Discussants in fourth session were Prof Gulshan Sachdeva and Mr Assad Nissar who spoke on ‘Salience of Afghanistan in Transport linkages, Energy, Commerce & Trade between Central / West Asia and South Asia’.
The Indian Panelists
On the second day the discussions were on ‘Developing Security Scenario in Afghanistan’. The session was chaired by Lt Gen PC Katoch (Retd) and Mr Tamim Asey. Maj Gen BK Sharma, AVSM, SM & Bar (Retd) and Dr. Omar Sharifi presented their views on the topic.
Panelists for the first session on 15 March
The second session was on the theme ‘Peace Building & Development of Afghanistan- Aspirations, Challenges & Prospects’ chaired by Ambassador Rakesh Sood and Mr Bilal Sarwary. Mr Hasib Hamayoun and Dr Vishal Chandra presented their views on the theme. There was free and frank exchange of views.
This session was followed by concluding remarks by Dr Davood Moradian and Shri Shakti Sinha
Shri Shakti Sinha and Dr Dawood Moradian
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between USI, New Delhi and AISS, Kabul for conducting research and joint conferences in future.
Signing of MoU
Afghanistan- India security Dialogue proved to be a highly useful platform in sharing perceptions and generating ideas to broaden and deepen India – Afghanistan strategic partnership
Report Compiled by Dr Roshan Khanijo, Senior Research Fellow and Research Coordinator, USI and Raj Kumar Sharma, Research Associate (USI).