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Policy Dialogue I: Proxy dynamics and peace in Afghanistan

The Middle East Studies Forum is pleased to present the first event in the Policy Dialogue series: Proxy dynamics and peace in Afghanistan.

This initiative is part of a Deakin University project ‘Assessing the impact of external actors in the Syrian and Afghan proxy wars’, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York (grant number: G-18-55949).

What impacts do the activities of proxy forces have on conflict and peace in Afghanistan? Engaging with speakers from diverse backgrounds, including both civil and military, this seminar will examine proxy dynamics between relevant regional and extra-regional actors. Through this dialogue, we wish to generate new understandings of proxy conflict and propose important policy recommendations for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

You can access the event flyer here.

Discussion points

  • How can the international community respond to proxy dynamics in general and the situation in Afghanistan in particular?
  • What can be done at a regional level? Is there a role for regional bodies like the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?
  • What role can the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation play to deal with challenges posed by intra-Afghan conflicts and proxy dynamics?
  • How can neighbouring states contribute to peace in Afghanistan?


Professor Rifaat Hussain is the head of the department of government and public policy at the National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan. He is a member of the advisory council on foreign policy under Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. He was previously the Chair of the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and also served as the Chair of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the National Defence University in Islamabad, and the Executive Director of the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Senator Sehar Kamran is the patron in chief of a non-partisan think tank, the Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS). During 2012-18, she served as an elected member of the Upper House of Parliament of Islamic Republic of Pakistan from 2012-2018 and until May 2019 she was a member Senate of Pakistan Forum for Policy Research (SFPR). She was also part of Senate committees on defence, foreign affairs, human rights and the convener of the Pakistan-Saudi Parliamentary Friendship Group at the Senate of Pakistan. Twitter @SeharKamran

Lieutenant General (retired) Naeem Khalid Lodhi served in the Pakistan army and as a Defence Secretary (2011-12) and Defence Minister (2018) of Pakistan. He was conferred the award of Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) for his distinguished career in the Pakistan army.

Dimitri Trenin is Director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre. He retired from the Russian Army in 1993. From 1993-97, he held a post as a senior research fellow at the Institute of Europe in Moscow. In 1993, he was a senior research fellow at the NATO Defence College in Rome.


10 September
Melbourne 4-5:30pm GMT+10
Islamabad 11-12:30pm GMT+5
Moscow 9-10:30am GMT+3
Please join us via Zoom*

Please RSVP to by 8 September 2020

*Attendees will be provided with a Zoom link and password to access the webinar via a calendar invite sent to the email address registered with on the 9 September 2020

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