The Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) hosted a Public Talk by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman, High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), Islamic Republic of Afghanistan under its Distinguished Lecture Series on September 29, 2020.
The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Honourable Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq were also in attendance. Members of the diplomatic corps in Islamabad, academics, civil society, and former and current diplomats were also present.
In his welcome remarks, Director General Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI), Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry welcomed Dr Abdullah Abdullah to the Institute and said that he felt feel deeply honoured that Dr Abdullah had chosen this Institute to send out his message of peace and hope to the academics, experts, and intellectuals of Pakistan. Ambassador Chaudhry observed that helping to stitch peace in Afghanistan is indeed an onerous responsibility and that in Pakistan, there is a consensus that a peaceful, stable, independent, sovereign, and prosperous Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the region. He recognized that securing peace will not be easy. However, time has never been more opportune for peace, he said. All stakeholders are acutely conscious of this rare window of opportunity. He referred to the people of Afghanistan as brotherly as no two nations share so much in common than the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. All that is left is the need to build on these commonalities.