Pierluigi Barberini, Security and Defence Analyst at the Rome-based Centro Studi Internazionali, stated that North Atlantic Treaty Organization was committed to the future stability of Afghanistan despite troop withdrawal.
He was speaking at a webinar titled ‘Future of Afghanistan: Challenges and Prospects’ jointly organized by the Institute of Regional Studies and Ce.S.I.
Barberini shared that there were four main dimensions to future NATO engagement in Afghanistan.
First, NATO will continue to financially support the Afghan National Army through the ANA Trust Fund established in 2007.
Third, NATO will continue to support Afghanistan from the civilian perspective. Fourth, NATO will continue to provide protection of critical infrastructure, such as the Kabul airport.
He added that this made the role of the US and Turkey essential, since the two armies were responsible for securing the airport.
Educationist and women’s rights activist from Afghanistan Ms Deeda Shakeb Azami expressed her concern about the human rights situation in Afghanistan and its future prospects, especially the rights of women.
She maintained that urban Afghan women were fearing the protection of their rights after a negotiated settlement with the Taliban because women were not allowed to go to school and work under Taliban rule in Afghanistan in the past.
Ce.S.I.’s Senior Analyst for Asia Ms Fracesca Manenti shared that human development indicators (HDI) remained very low for Afghanistan.
She added that Afghanistan still had a long way to go to ensure an equitable situation for the vulnerable segments of the society, especially women.
Founder of the Islamabad-based not-for-profit organization CODE PAKISTAN Mr Dilawar Khan stated that repatriation of Afghan refugees was the top preference for Pakistan but the numbers of refugees repatriating were quickly declining.
Gabriele Iacovino, Director C.e.S.I. who was moderating the discussion, said that stability in Afghanistan was important not only for the region but the whole world.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, President IRS Amb Nadeem Riyaz highlighted the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan for the future peace and prosperity of the entire region.