Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist and author of several best-selling books, among them “Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia”, met with members of the German Bundestag, representatives of federal ministries, government agencies and selected think tanks to discuss scenarios for the future of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The discussion focused on Ahmed Rashid’s assessment of Western nation-building efforts in the region as well as on the intra-Afghan reconciliation process.
Rashid said that he was in favour of reaching a negotiated settlement with the Afghan Taliban. In the final analysis the conflict in Afghanistan could be resolved only through negotiations. It was imperative for Pakistan to become involved in the enduring stabilization of the country. Furthermore, Iran was also going to have to play a central role.
The ensuing discussion focused on the influence of other regional and international actors. China was primarily interested in preventing the infiltration of extremists from Afghanistan. But Russia also had an interest in the stabilization of the country. Rashid claimed that an increase in Russian influence was on the cards if NATO withdrew its troops.
Körber Foundation regularly invites a small circle of high-ranking actors within Berlin’s foreign policy community to its Political Background Discussions. As in the Bergedorf Round Tables, the discussions take place shielded from the public, so as to enable a confidential, frank, and constructive exchange.
- Political Breakfast with Mark Sedwill, Berlin, May 11, 2010
- Körber Foundation’s Afghanistan Forum, Berlin, January 21, 2010
- Political Breakfast with Daoud Sultanzoy, Berlin, January 20, 2009
- Munich Young Leaders 2009, Discussion with Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Munich, February 7, 2009