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Lords to hear evidence on United States and Pakistan policy towards Afghanistan

On Monday 28 September 2020, as part of its ongoing inquiry into the UK’s diplomatic, military and aid strategy for Afghanistan, the House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will be taking evidence from two panels of witnesses.

The evidence sessions will take place virtually and will be streamed live on Parliament TV.

Giving evidence will be:

3pm

  • Laurel Miller, Director, Asia Programme, International Crisis Group, and former acting US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and;
     
  • James Dobbins, Senior Fellow and Distinguished Chair in Diplomacy and Security, Rand Corporation, and former US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

4pm

  • Hussain Haqqani, Director for South and Central Asia, Hudson Institute and former Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US and;
     
  • Dr Ayesha Siddiqa, Research Associate, SOAS South Asia Institute.

Questions will include;

The United States

  • What, in your opinion, was the primary motivation for the US Administration to enter into talks with the Taliban? Have the US’s national interests been met? 
     
  • What are the main differences on policy towards Afghanistan between President Trump and Joe Biden?
      

Intra-Afghan peace talks

  • What is your assessment of the prospects for the negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban? What would be the key elements of a stable and durable agreement?
     
  • What is your assessment of the Taliban’s motivations for joining the talks? What role can or should the Taliban play in government, and how can this be achieved? 

Domestic challenges in Afghanistan

  • What is your assessment of the internal stability of the government in Kabul, in particular of the agreement between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah? To what extent does it provide the basis for the resolution of ongoing tensions? Is there a need for revisions to the Afghan constitution?
     
  • What is the state of the Afghan military and civilian forces? What further international support will be needed when international forces withdraw? How best can this be delivered in the future?

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