Distinguished Lecture Series
Ustad Karim Khalili, Leader of Hezb-e-Wahadat-e Islami, Afghanistan
January 13, 2021
“Peace in Afghanistan will create a situation that will benefit all countries, especially the region and our neighbours. With such a peace, new horizons for progress and development will emerge in the region.” This was stated by Ustad Karim Khalili, Leader of Hezb-e-Wahadat-e Islami, Afghanistan during his address at a Public Talk organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) today under its Distinguished Lecture Series. The Afghan delegation included senators and members of parliament namely; Mr. Khodadad Erfani, Ms. Nafisa Azimi, Mr. Ali Akbar Jamshidi, Mr. Qais Wakeli, Mr. Mohammad Rahim Hassanyar, Mr. Mohammad Alem Khalili and Mr. Madar Ali Karimi. Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq was also in attendance. Members of the diplomatic corps in Islamabad, academics, civil society, and former and current diplomats were also present.
Ms. Amina Khan, Director Centre for Middle East & Africa (CMEA) who also works on Afghanistan gave welcome remarks.
During his address, Ustad Khalili said that peace is a multidimensional phenomenon which has multifaceted effects in different dimensions of human social life and societies. He stated that, when we talk about peace, in addition to the political dimension, we must also consider its cultural, economic and social dimensions. He said that we are living in an interconnected world with a vast network of global issues, where war and peace are no exception.
He went on to say that when a peace agreement upholds human rights’ values, such as women’s rights, minority rights, non-discrimination, and many other issues, all nations and peoples of the world are motivated to support it. Conversely, if these global standards are not taken into account, such peace will not go anywhere and conflicts will continue. In Afghanistan, the peace discourse has become a serious issue especially given that peace in Afghanistan is complex, multidimensional, with internal and international consequences. Thus, the people of Afghanistan need cooperation and joint efforts from all countries, especially the region. Speaking about Pakistan’s role, he opined that the goal is to win Pakistan’s Government’s support for a peace that can address regional issues and benefit all our international friends. Such a matter requires a good and precise mechanism which responds well to all of Afghanistan’s domestic diversity as well as expectations of the international community. He appreciated the positive and constructive viewpoint of the Pakistani leadership and noted the visible support given during his visit.
The talk was followed by a question and answer session which was moderated by Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI. Answering a question about the role of regional countries and especially Pakistan in the peace process, Ustad Khalili appreciated Pakistan’s positive and constructive role in the peace process, terming Islamabad as a staunch supporter of peace, as peace in Afghanistan will amount to peace in Pakistan. Said that Pakistan has played a pivotal role in helping to achieve peace in Afghanistan. He acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in the first round of the peace process as well as the ongoing talks in Doha and hoped that with this current momentum the relationship would reach new horizons.