The Hudson Institute held a round-table discussion on Monday about Afghanistan with Javid Ahmad, a non-resident senior fellow at Atlantic Council. Mr. Ahmad had just return from a trip to Kabul and provided his thoughts on the military, political, and social situations in Afghanistan. The round table was attended by various individuals from think tanks, press outlets, and governments.
Mr. Ahman spent some time discussing the upcoming scheduled presidential elections and some of the potential challenges facing Afghanistan that would prevent it from hosting the election on its scheduled date, September 28th. These involved things such as lack of preparation by the IEC/Secretariat, general mismanagement, or an increase in insecurity. The Afghan government is also against an interim setup, believing that it would hamper democratic continuity, violate the constitution, and create a bad precedent for future governments.
On the peace process, there is a general consensus on the word, but little else. Disputes are currently ongoing on how to achieve it and what exactly it would look like. There are also some disputes between the Afghan government and the United States regarding the talks, but the coordination between Kabul and Washington has improved in the recent weeks. There is also a consensus on holding an intra-Afghan dialogue, to be held in Doha at some point in June. However, hopes for the dialogue remains low as the Taliban continue to seek a maximalist outcome.