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Association for International Affairs

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Association for International Affairs organized a panel discussion entitled Contemporary Challenges of Development in Afghanistan. The event took place on 24 May 2010 at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. The speakers of the discussion were Ali A. Jalali, former Minister of Interior of Afghanistan, Akbar Ayazi, RFE/RL Associate Broadcast Director responsible for Afghanistan, Persian, Pakistan, and Iraq broadcast services, and Ester Lauferová, special envoy for Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Logar Province. The discussion was chaired by Filip Moravec, former media expert at the civilian part of Czech PRT, and held in English.

All the panellists agreed on the necessity of a unified, long-term strategic vision for the development of Afghanistan. Mr. Jalali stressed the importance of providing security to people in order to enhance development: “We need to free people from fear.” Further, he expressed his view that there are certain achievements in development. However, they are overshadowed by the setbacks. As two main examples of the success, he named the improved role of women and progress in free media – for instance, there are 25 private televisions currently broadcasting in Afghanistan.
Ms. Lauferová spoke of disproportional development across the provinces, depending on security and level of infrastructure in the particular province. As two main challenges for the future of development, she stressed the following: more responsibility should be transferred to provincial governments, as far as development projects are concerned; and connection between provincial governments and districts on the one hand and the central government on the other should be built.

Mr. Ayazi mentioned that most NGOs are traditionally treated with suspicion among Afghans. He stressed the cooperation between Czech PRT and Radio Azadi (RFE/RL’s Afghan Service) while mentioning training of Afghan journalists in Prague. Further, he emphasized that the Czech PRT is a good example how to assist development in Afghanistan. In the ensuing discussion, several interesting questions were raised. As for opposition in Afghanistan, all panellists agreed that we cannot speak about typical opposition movements. Rather, it is primarily formed around strong figures.


Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University
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E15 and Strategie
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