Feb 10, 2008

On December 13th, the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) hosted the Security and Defence forum, a group of Canadian academics at the Centre. The trip was sponsored by NATO as a part of the Afghanistan familiarization visit.


Mr. Hekmat Karzai, the Director of the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) along with Dr. Najeeb ur Rahman Manalai (Associate Research Fellow) and Halim Kousary (Jebsen Fellow) participated in a discussion with the delegates. Mr. Haji Naseeb, the Head of Wadan Afghanistan, a non-governmental organization, and Mr. Ali Wardak, a well-known Afghan academic and one of the authors of the Afghanistan Human Development Report, also participated in the meeting.


Among the Canadian academics present were, Dr. Douglas Bland (Chair in Defense Management Studies, Queens University), Dr. Jim Fergusson (Director of Centre for Defense and Security Studies, University of Manitoba), and Dr. David Mandeloff (Director of the Carleton University).


Mr. Karzai gave the visitors a briefing on the centre and its capacity building efforts in Afghanistan. He mentioned the key projects that CAPS was engaged in and expounded on the phenomenon of suicide terrorism in Afghanistan by highlighting the key trends over the last three years.


CAPS staff also discussed with the visitors the current situation in Afghanistan and the pressing security challenges in the country. The group discussed some of the mistakes made by the international community in Afghanistan that have led to disillusionment among the Afghans and have increased the gap between the government and the population.


Mr. Halim Kousary stressed on the need for the international community to be sensitive to the Afghan culture and the local customs and traditions. The group finally touched upon the issue of narcotics in Afghanistan and Dr. Najeeb Manalai gave them an overview of the issue and mentioned the complexities of addressing the problem. The meeting was followed by a traditional Afghan lunch at the centre.