VIF at Herat Security Dialogue –II
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Lt. Gen Ravi Sawhney, Distinguished Fellow and Sushant Sareen, Senior Fellow, VIF, were invited by the Afghan Institute of Strategic Studies to attend the prestigious Second Herat Security Dialogue on 5-6, October, 2013. Around 80 foreign delegates from countries of the region and beyond and a similar number of Afghan delegates participated in the conference. The Dialogue was organized with the cooperation of the Afghan government and the local authorities at the historic 3000 year fort, Ikhtiyaruddin Citadel. Notable among the absentees were the US and Pakistani delegations. Despite specific security threats, seven Indian delegates participated in the conference to not only show solidarity with the Afghan organisers but also demonstrate India's abiding commitment to peace, security and stability of Afghanistan, which was the underlying theme of the Dialogue.

The wide ranging deliberations and excellent presentations made in the Dialogue dispelled the pessimism and sense of insecurity and uncertainty that seems to have crept in about the future of Afghanistan. To be sure, Afghanistan faces monumental challenges - security, economic, political and governance related. But the Afghans appear to be ready to meet these challenges and not just protect but also build upon the achievements and accomplishments of the last decade. Of course, Afghanistan will need to be supported politically, diplomatically, financially and to an extent militarily by the international community. The Herat Dialogue is an initiative that needs to be supported and institutionalised so that it emerges as a forum where officials and non-officials can exchange ideas and flag issues that serve the interests of Afghanistan.

Event Date 
October 5, 2013
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