Future of Afghanistan panel held at Baylor University

State & Regional

WACO, Texas – Afghan leaders joined the Baylor Institute for the Study of Religion and the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society for a discussion on the events which have taken place in the country.

The event “Facing Forward: Afghanistan after America” had a goal for leaders to share their perspectives on ways the country can move towards a better future.

With the Taliban ruling Afghanistan after U.S. troops withdrew from the country, many people are hoping for a better reality than the one they are currently facing.

Aref Dostyar is the Consul General of Afghanistan to the Western United States, and he was also one of the panelists at the event.

“Seizure of power is not peace, and when we say that there is no military solution. That means even if you win a war, you may not be able to establish peace in Afghanistan,” Dostyar said. “The end of war is not the beginning of peace.”

Dostyar says even with the U.S. troops being pulled from Afghanistan, the war has only ended partially.

“There are definitely domestic elements to this,” Dostyar said. “To say that this is just a civil war is oversimplifying the problem – and the issue and the conflict in Afghanistan.”

Senior Civilian Representative to the Southern Afghanistan Johnathan Addleton says he wants Americans to know just because troops are being pulled does not mean the war is over.

“The tough part is governing. That still lies ahead,” Addleton said. “In fact, the Taliban haven’t formed a government yet. It’s being talked about, but we will see what happens in the coming days.”

Dostyar says even though the window of opportunity may be small, there is still time to work towards a political settlement in Afghanistan.

“I would like to say to our American colleagues and friends that it’s not over. We should not give up on Afghanistan. It’s not over,” Dostyar said. “You have a partner in the Afghan people. Afghanistan has changed.”

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