- Saad Mohseni, Director, Moby Group
- Tahir Qadiry, Chargé d'Affaires, Embassy of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, New Delhi
- Jayant Prasad, former Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan
- Amar Sinha, Member, National Security Advisory Board and former Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan
- Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Senior Visiting Fellow, CPR and former Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan
Chair: Jyoti Malhotra, Editor, National and Strategic Affairs, ThePrint
About the Discussion:
On September 9, 2019, a draft interim agreement, reached after nine rounds of talks between US Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban was abruptly called off by President Trump through a tweet, ostensibly on account of the death of a US serviceman in a Taliban suicide attack. In the tweet, President Trump also revealed that he had secretly invited Taliban leaders and President Ghani separately to Camp David to clinch the talks under his personal supervision. This too was cancelled.
The talks, which the Afghan government has not been part of but has been regularly briefed on, centered primarily on a partial timetable for a withdrawal of US troops from five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days, and the kick-starting of intra-Afghan talks in two weeks as part of a composite package that the US maintains which includes guarantees that Afghan soil would not be used against the US, a comprehensive ceasefire, and intra-Afghan talks leading to a peace agreement between the two sides and possibly an interim government. Its suspension took place against a background of a wave of violence in Afghanistan that included major offensives against key provincial capitals and suicide attacks in Kabul, weeks before a delayed Presidential elections scheduled for September 28, 2019.
To discuss the status and contents of US-Taliban talks, as well as the importance of the September 28 elections, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) has put together a panel consisting of three former Indian Ambassadors to Afghanistan and the Afghan Charge d'Affaires in India, Tahir Qadiry as special invitee. The discussion will take place at the India International Centre (IIC) at 3 p.m. on Friday, September 13, 2019. The Ambassadors include: Ambassador Jayant Prasad (2008-10), Ambassador Gautam Mukhopadhaya, Senior Visiting Fellow CPR (2010-13), and Ambassador Amar Sinha (2013-15). Jyoti Malhotra, the National and Strategic Affairs Editor at ThePrint will be chairing this discussion.
In addition to the above discussants, Saad Mohseni, Director of the Moby Group (media group with operations in South-central Asia, Middle East and Africa) has also agreed to be a part of our panel.
Tea/coffee will be served from 2:30 p.m.
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