Oct 06, 2007

2 October 2007  The Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) hosted a team of Canadian journalist for a traditional Iftar. The six members team of journalist came from various parts of Canada: Louise Plante of Le Nouvelliste, Louis Tremblay of Le Quotidien, Lindsey Wiebe of Winnipeg Free Press, Michael Den Tandt of The Sun Times, Rob Shaw of Victoria Times Colonist, and David Ramsay of The Leader Post.

Hekmat Karzai, Director of CAPS, Research Analysts Dr. Najeeb ur Rahman Manalai, Halimullah Kousary, Kamran Sartor and Humayoun Rahimi were present at the Iftar.

After the meal, there was an engaging discussion and Mr. Karzai started the dialogue by outlining the different projects and activities of CAPS including training programs offered to the members of the international community, as well as specific research areas covered by the staff.
Responding to the questions of the journalists, Mr. Karzai assessed key issues related to security, Afghan politics, use of suicide terrorism in Afghanistan, reconstruction and development, governance, drugs and importance of the international community’s engagement in the process of stabilizing Afghanistan.

Mr. Karzai emphasized that the presence of the Canadian troops really matters for the security in the volatile southern region of Afghanistan. He highlighted the significant role Canada was playing not only in establishing security but also in areas of development and governance.  ‘It is vital that people in Canada know that their soldiers and diplomats are not here only to fight the Taliban but are regularly helping to improve the lives of Afghans who have suffered immeasurably due to the three decades of conflict.’

Mr. Kousary and Dr. Manalai discussed the various factors that have led to partial success of the Taliban and motivation that inspire people to join the Taliban.  Dr. Manalai also addressed questions on the Afghan refugees and the relationship between Afghanistan and Iran.