Thanks to seed funding from CARE Canada, Peacebuild was able to send Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace International Steering Committee member David Lord on a mission to Afghanistan to discuss priorities and plans for the Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace process with Afghan partners, civil society stakeholders, and potential funders. From October 8-28, 2012, David Lord interviewed 27 individuals, including Afghan civil society activists, academics and international analysts and diplomats.
Top of mind among Afghans interviewed in Kabul were the current drawdown of US and other foreign conventional combat forces, uncertainty as to whether Afghan forces can adequately fill the resulting gaps and take a security lead, and the high probability of presidential and provincial council elections now scheduled for April 2014 generating more instability. Further fuelling fears for the near-term future is an economic downturn that has already begun to bite as the war economy contracts.
Despite the increasing insecurity and realization that the conflict will not be resolved militarily, there is currently no credible peace process. A plethora of Track 2 and unofficial processes have not had any visible results to date. Civil society is concerned about closed-door negotiations and agreements at the expense of hard-won gains in human rights. It is also frustrated with token inclusion in select processes or events. Calls for a comprehensive peace process led by a multinational institution or a group of impartial countries are common. Afghanistan: Pathways to Peace reaffirmed its commitment to support Afghan-led peace initiatives and to advocate internationally for a comprehensive and inclusive peace process.
Produced with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).