The International Conference on Afghanistan Current Developments and Future Prospects was held on February 23, 2022, in Tehran by Kabul Research Institute for Peace and Development and with the cooperation of Tehran International Studies & Research Institute of Abrar Moaser, Herat University, and Allameh Tabatabai University.
The main objective of the conference, considering the volatile situation of Afghanistan, was to ensure co-thinking among Afghan elites, regional and international well-known researchers interested in Afghanistan developments by bringing them together under one roof to discuss the current developments and future prospects of Afghanistan and develop a road map as the basis of their next steps.
A total of 30 speakers and presenters participated in the conference, including 2 ministers, Mohammad Qasim WafayeZada the former Minister of Culture and Information, and Abbas Basir the former Minister of Higher Education of Afghanistan, and Mohammad Reza Bahrami the former Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Kabul. Furthermore, some well-known university lecturers, researchers, and analysts participated in the conference from Afghanistan, Iran, Europe, and other countries.
The conference was conducted by the Academic Committee Chaired by Mohammad Qasem Erfani Researcher of international relations and Director of Kabul Research Institute for Peace and Development in close cooperation of Academic Committee Advisors Mr. Abed Akbari Managing Director of Abrar Moaser Tehran International Research and Studies Center, Mandana Tisheyar member of Academic Board of Allama Tababaei University and Deputy of Abrar Moaser Tehran International Studies and Research Center.
The opening session was addressed by Mohammad Qasim Erfani Director of Kabul Research Institute for Peace and Development and Chairperson of the International Conference on Afghanistan Current Developments and Future Prospects outlined the goal of the conference. He said the role of university elites is crucial to provide solutions and identify the root causes of the crisis in Afghanistan. Dr. Abid Akbary General Director, Tehran International Studies & Research Institute of Abrar Mo, Dr. Abdullah Motamedi Chief of Allameh Tabaabai University, Dr. Mohammad Qasim Wafayezada Lecturer at Japan Kanazawa University, and Former Minister of Culture and Information, said that the Republic did not collapse in a night in Afghanistan. But widespread corruption and monopoly power for several years pawed the way for the collapse of the republic system in the country. Dehqani Firuzabadi Professor of international relations said security will not last in Afghanistan without an inclusive government. He also mentioned the Bon Framework as a good model for the country.
Dr. Abbas Basir Former Higher Education Minister of Afghanistan and Researcher of Afghanistan Issues Researcher said he foresees four scenarios for Afghanistan: Inclusive government, civil war, federalism and break up. He considers the civil war and break-up scenarios as the worst scenarios and deems federalism as the best scenario and he considers the inclusive government as the very possible scenario in the country. Mohammad Reza Bahrami Former Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Afghanistan said the main cause of continued conflicts in Afghanistan was the geo-politics and geo-economic location of the country situated in West Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia. Bahrami considers the deviation of the foreign policy of the country from tradition balance policy and lack of attention to geopolitics requirements of barrier position of Afghanistan as the main factor of the collapse of the governments in the country. Arif Sahar Researcher at Terrorism Studies and Organized Crimes (CENTRIC) of the University of Sheffield,
And Carp Rado Lecturer and Chief of Security, IR and Public Policy Dept of the University of Bucharest, Romania were the final speakers of the opening session.
The main topics of the first session included reporting on the process of holding the International Conference on Afghanistan Current Developments and Future Prospects, the necessity of conducting the conference in the current situation, Iran and Afghanistan Current Situation, Instantaneity of Collapse: How Democracy Failed in Afghanistan, Likely Scenarios for What’s Next in Afghanistan, General Issues on Afghanistan, Explaining foreign interferences in Afghanistan Conflicts, Afghanistan at a crossroads: the prospects of peace and violence post-2021, and Why democratization failed in Afghanistan.
The topics of the second session included genealogy of the Republic defeat in Afghanistan, return of Emirate and reproduction of tribal intellect in the politics, Assessing the causes of Afghanistan security forces defeat in confronting Taliban, Analysis of the revival of Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan from the perspective of new classic realism theory, Background and contexts of the fall of the Republic system in Afghanistan, Islamic fascism (Translating Ideology to Pragmatic and Practice), Afghanistan Political Stability and Contradicting National Interests of the Neighboring Countries, Inter-organizational Challenges of Taliban Governance, and human rights status in the Taliban administration in Afghanistan.
The topics of the third session included women and Human Rights in Afghanistan under Taliban and the US measures, Challenges and guarantees of ensuring Afghan women’s Human Rights in the public sphere, Shaky institutional orders and collapse of Republic in Afghanistan, Barriers to Effective Role of Afghan women in the Public Sphere (2001-2021), Applicability Challenge of Political, ideological and Military Movements with the ordinary State Nation Structures (Case Study of Taliban Movement 1996-2021), Wave of Migration of Refugees from Afghanistan and International Responsibilities of States regarding them, Women Rights in Taliban Government.
The topics of the fourth session included Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and new geopolitical marginality, Taliban in the mirror of religious thought and political behavior, Theoretical difficulties of Taliban Emirate, Taliban Government in Afghanistan: regional players issues and approaches, Challenges of Inclusive government and Perspective of Sustainable Peace in Afghanistan, Afghanistan Stuck in “left-right” coding of Past and Future, and Afghanistan Developments: Domestic and External Perspectives.
The International Conference on Afghanistan Current Developments and Future Prospects is the first conference after the collapse of the Republic conducted by the University elites. The organizers pledged to continue such dialogues to inform policymakers and political decision-makers.