The Centre for Afghanistan, Middle East & Africa (CAMEA) at the Institute of Strategic Studies (ISSI) in collaboration with the Middle East Monitor (MEMO), UK held a webinar on “Evolving Situation in Afghanistan” on August 26, 2021. The distinguished speakers included: Dr. Abdullah Anas , author of ‘To the Mountains: My Life in Jihad, from Algeria to Afghanistan’, Dr. Tamim Asey, Founder & Executive Chairman of the Institute of War and Peace Studies (IWPS), Kabul, Mr. Adam N Weinstein, Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute, Ms. Amina Khan, Director CAMEA, ISSI. Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General ISSI, Dr. Daud Abdullah, Director Middle East Monitor (MEMO), and Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman BOG, ISSI also spoke on the occasion.
During his introductory remarks, Dr. Daud Abdullah stated that the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan was always seen as an affront to what it means to be an Afghan. He also believed that foreign powers have overlooked that the people of Afghanistan had their values, systems and beliefs which they adhered to and sought to preserve. The reaction which we saw as a result of the invasion was predictable for a country that was never colonised. There had long been a recognition that the war in Afghanistan was unwinnable. Even after the Afghan army mobilized a force, they were unable to reverse the trend of defeat and the invading forces could not motivate young Afghans to fight against their fellow Afghans. He also added that after, what he called a ‘misadventure’, the inquisition, export and imposition of western values remains a fantasy. Afghanistan represents a classic case in this regard. He concluded by saying that throughout this 20-year misadventure the invading forces could not motivate young Afghans to fight against their fellow Afghans and that was one of the reasons for the collapse and disintegration of those forces.