|By Shanthie Mariet D'Souza [ Published Date: August 6, 2012 ]|
About the Editor:
Dr. Shanthie Mariet D`Souza, originally from Mangalore, is presently a Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies(ISAS),National University of Singapore. She has been Associate Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses, New Delhi ,and Fulbright Scholar at South Asia Studies, The Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC (2005-2006).
Dr. D`Souza has numerous writing in journals, edited volumes and media. Her research interest and expertise includes Afghan Insurgency and the Counter Insurgency campaign; Transition and Issues in Long term Stabilization of Afghanistan; Regional Dynamics of the Afghan insurgency; United States Counter terrorism policy in South Asia; Non State Armed Groups; Terrorism and Strategies in Counter terrorism; India`s foreign and security policy, Great Power Politics; Conflict Management and Prospects for Regional Cooperation in South Asia. She has conducted field studies in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir and India`s North East. Shanthie has frequently travelled to various provinces of Afghanistan for her field research.
About the Book:
Afghanistan is at a cusp of `change`. As 2014, the date for the draw down of international forces draws near, the international community is confounded by the complexities of an effective inteqal (transition) as by the modalities for ensuring it.
This book brings together varied Afghan voices to set the agenda, address critical gaps in the ongoing inteqal process, 2012-14 and suggest alternate course of action by setting a forward looking agenda, beyond 2014. The strength of this volume stems from the rich contributions by experts and practitioners from the field, providing an in-depth analysis of the perceptions, needs and preparedness on the ground.
The common thread that runs through all the chapters of the book is that inteqal process needs to be Afghan led and Afghan owned. This book provides diverse perspectives of the Afghans by taking a realistic assessment of the achievements and challenges in building local capacities and institutions in key sectors--security, political, governance and economic, for these would form the basis of future progress.
By delving into a range of complex interrelated issues such as security and political sector reform; peace processes-reconciliation, reintegration; economic opportunities- investment, trade and connectivity; civilian surge-aid coordination and effectiveness; strategic communication; role of women, international organisations and non governmental organisations- both from a micro and macro perspective, this volume highlights several critical components of the inteqal process that need immediate and sustained attention. Chapters on regional perspectives and also the US perspective provide important insights into the role of external players in the present imbroglio.
This book is a valuable and timely contribution to the academic and policy discourse on the prospects of effective transition and long-term stabilization of Afghanistan.
About the Contributors
Professor Ali A. Jalali, a presidential contender and former interior minister of Afghanistan (Jan. 2003-Sept.2005), is currently serving as both a distinguished professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA) and as a researcher at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS).
H.E. Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai is minister adviser on Home Security to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Secretary General for the High Peace Council of Afghanistan, an organisation that leads national peace and reconciliation efforts. Minister Stanekzai has served as the vice chair of the Afghanistan`s Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission, responsible for the disbandment of illegal armed groups since 2005.
Arian Sharifi holds a BA in Political Science from Wesleyan University, and a Master in Public Affairs (MPA) with specialisation in International Relations from Princeton University`s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He was the winner of the prestigious White Fellowship Award for Excellence in Government in 2007.
Ahmad Wali Masoud is currently the President of the Masoud Foundation. From 1992 to 2006, Masoud has held various posts at the Embassy of Afghanistan in London. From 1992-93, Masoud was the Second Secretary holding briefly the position of First Secretary before becoming the Minister of Counselor and the Charged Affairs in 1993, a position he held until 2002. From 2002 to 2006, he was the Ambassador, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Afghanistan in London.
Shahmahmood Miakhel is the Country Director for United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Afghanistan since 2009. Prior to joining USIP, he worked as a governance adviser/deputy head of governance unit for the United Nation Assistance Mission (UNAMA) in Afghanistan (2005-09) and served as Senior Adviser/Deputy Minister of Interior of Afghanistan (2003-05). Miakhel has also worked as a reporter for Pashto and Dari Services of Voice of America (1985-90) and as the deputy director of SOS/Belgium, an international organisation assisting Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
Najeeb Ur Rahman Manalai is a human rights advocate, currently working as National Human Rights Officer at the Human Rights Unit of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The focus of his work has been promoting an inclusive peace process and mainstreaming human rights values and principles in all efforts aimed at peace and reconciliation as well as the overall development process in Afghanistan. He has contributed to upholding UN`s partnership with Afghan national human rights institutions and the civil society.
Rangina Hamidi is the Founder and President of Kandahar Treasure, the first women`s private enterprise in Kandahar, Afghanistan. She provides life-changing economic opportunities for approximately 350 Afghan women, giving them a platform at Kandahar`s unique embroidery work. As one of Kandahar`s leading voices for Afghan women, she has guided the development of groundbreaking networks for women, establishing pioneering weekly women`s meetings, social programs and activities for women in Kandahar. These forums led to a historic moment for the local women when on the International Women`s Day in 2009 they marched for peace at the famous Kherqa Shrine. Rangina`s aim is to work for bringing permanent and lasting change to Kandahar`s long history of violence.
Muhammad Sabir Siddiqi is the director of Development and Public Awareness (DPA) and served as a senior advisor to the anti-corruption agency in Afghanistan. From 2003 to 2009, he worked with different national and international organisations in Afghanistan, such as USAID, United Nations and IDLG, as political advisor and governance specialist. He has attended several important national and international events, including the London International conference on Afghanistan in 2010, Anti corruption Conference in Paris--2010 and AFPAK civil society forum--Islamabad 2011.
Haroun Mir is the Director and Co-founder of Afghanistan Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS). He has more than ten years of work experience in consultancy, management, research and analysis. He has carried out consultancy missions for Afghan Members of Parliament on key policy issues.
Professor Rasul Bakhsh Rais has a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Before joining the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), he served as Professor/Director, Area Study Centre and Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad for nearly 22 years. He was a Professor of Pakistan Studies at Columbia University, New York, for 3 years from 1991 to 1994.
Daniel Norfolk is currently conducting research on regional approaches to conflict at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. He has served at the High Commissions of Britain and Canada in New Delhi, and analysed relations between South Asian states for the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
Professor Marvin G. Weinbaum is professor emeritus of political science at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also served as an analyst for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the U.S. Department of State`s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1999 to 2003. He is currently a scholar-in-residence at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC. At Illinois, Dr Weinbaum served for fifteen years as the director of the Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.