The Future of Afghanistan
About the Event
This joint event with the Defence & Security Forum will host senior members of the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to discuss the nature of the challenges posed by the departure of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan and what this may mean for the future of the country.
The decision by President Biden to withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan has led to widespread debate regarding what will be the impact of this decision. There is a substantial risk that the Taliban will continue fighting and that without large scale US and NATO forces in the country the government may be in jeopardy. This puts at risk the progress made in the advancement of key NATO policy goals of suppression of terrorism, advances in civil society and economic development. A majority of the Afghan population is under the age of 30, over 75% are under 40, and this generation of young Afghans who have grown up with the benefits of a free and democratic society are determined that peace can be achieved while the gains of the past twenty years, especially women and children’s rights can be preserved.
The panel of National Assembly members, including the coalition majority whip of the parliament and the chair of the defence committee, will discuss the latest developments in the peace process with the Taliban, and prospects for counterterrorism in Afghanistan. The panel will go on to discuss how the Afghan National Assembly can support the international community’s efforts to conduct meaningful oversight of the government, counter corruption, and ensure the gains of the past twenty years are not forgotten as the peace process develops.
About the Panellists
Haji Ajmal Rahmani is a Member of the Afghanistan Parliament representing the people of Kabul. Mr. Rahmani serves as the Common Coordination Leader (Majority Whip) of Parliament, working to build consensus among the MPs. Mr. Rahmani is the Chairman and CEO of the Rahmani Group, a company operating in the energy, logistics, real estate, and financial services sectors of Afghanistan and several other countries. Mr. Rahmani, through his family charity, provides opportunities for underprivileged children and communities throughout Afghanistan and builds schools, hospitals, water distribution facilities, and other infrastructure projects. He is also the Advisory Board Chairman of the Afghanistan-U.S. Democratic Peace and Prosperity Council, a Washington, D.C. based organization that advocates for closer ties between the U.S. Government and Afghan Parliament. Mr. Rahmani holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kabul University and a Masters in Business Administration degree from the HULT International Business School in London.
Mir Haider Afzaly is a Member of the Afghanistan Parliament representing the people of Kapisa. Mr. Afzaly serves as the Chairman of the Defense Commission where he leads efforts to end corruption and mismanagement by the Government of Afghanistan and the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces. Previously, Mr. Afzaly worked in the private sector as CEO of an Afghan construction company and in the public sector as an infrastructure development specialist, Treasury Chief of the Administrative Office of the President, and as Chairman of the Construction Control Directorate of the Municipality of Kabul. Mr. Afzaly is also an Advisory Board Member of the Afghanistan-U.S. Democratic Peace and Prosperity Council, a Washington, D.C. based organization that advocates for closer ties between the U.S. Government and Afghan Parliament. Mr. Afzaly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Kabul Polytechnic University and a Master’s degree in Management from Azad University.
Naheed Farid is a Member of the Afghanistan Parliament representing the people of Herat. Mrs. Farid serves as the Chair of the Human Rights, Civil Society and Women’s Affairs Commission where she is a vocal champion for Afghanistan’s women and a strong supporter of human rights. Mrs. Farid became the youngest person ever to be elected to the Afghanistan Parliament in 2010 at the age of 27. Mrs. Farid, through her family’s charity, the Farid foundation, works on humanitarian and educational programs for Afghan children. Previously, she was Executive Director of the Mother and Childhood Foundation of Afghanistan and worked for the World Food Program, Medica Modiale and Dacaar. Mrs. Farid is also an Advisory Board Member of the Afghanistan-U.S. Democratic Peace and Prosperity Council, a Washington, D.C. based organization that advocates for closer ties between the U.S. Government and Afghan Parliament. Mrs. Farid holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Politics from Herat University, a Master’s degree in International Relations from George Washington University, and an honorary Doctoral degree in Public Administration from Commonwealth University.
Also joining the panel to comment on the military situation in Afghanistan is Brigadier Ben Barry, former director of the British Army Staff in the UK Ministry of Defence and author of the Army’s lessons learned analysis of post-conflict stabilisation of Iraq. He joined The International Institute for Strategic Studies in 2010, and is a visiting professor at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Brigadier Barry is also the author of “Harsh Lessons: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Changing Character of War” (IISS, 2016), and “The Road from Sarajevo: British Army Operations in Bosnia, 1995–1996″ (The History Press, 2016).” His most recent book is “Blood, Metal and Dust: How Victory Turned into Defeat in Afghanistan and Iraq”.