NEW DELHI: U.S Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad has made his second visit to Pakistan and first publicly disclosed meetings with President Ashraf Ghani and other leaders in Kabul since President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban on September 7. The Afghan government has now changed its stand saying it has a precondition for peace talks-a one month ceasefire. NSA Hamdullah Mohib has also said Ambassador Khalilzad and the Afghan President only discussed prisoner release not the peace process. In other developments, the US Special Representative has also met his Russian and Chinese counterparts, had a quadrilateral meeting that included Pakistan and briefed NATO and the EU leaders.
Muqaddesa Yourish, an Afghan deputy minister of commerce and trade till recently is a strong proponent of India’s sharper role in her country’s peace process. In an interview with Amitabh P Revi, SNI Associate Editor, she uses the example of New Delhi’s vast experience in UN peacekeeping around the globe as one of the ways that can be achieved. Ms Yourish also talks about the present position the peace process is at, how the Taliban have to justify any outcome to their constituents, the role of Pakistan and a need to balance the credibility of the Presidential polls with the time frame it takes for results to be announced. She also feels strongly about the need to shape Afghanistan’s future with the aspirations of the youth not their current fears.
Muqaddesa Yourish quit as Afghan Deputy Minister of Commerce and Trade in October 2019. She will be a visiting Fellow at a German non-profit (the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiflunk organisation) in Berlin in November-December 2019. She is an adjunct lecturer with the American University of Afghanistan, Department of Business. Muqadessa has an MBA with highest honours from Akron University Ohio, a Diploma in National Security and International Relations, and a BBA from Pune University, India. She has also served as a Commissioner for the Independent Administrative Reforms and Civil Service Commission of Afghanistan (IARCSC) and Director of Human Resources for Kabul Municipality. Prior to joining the government, she has managed and directed several assignments for a diverse set of clients in private sectors
She is also an active member of “Afghanistan 1400”, a political movement drawn from a new generation of energetic, political-minded Afghans working to lay the foundations of a better Afghanistan for tomorrow.