I MET THE LEADERS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW; THEY ARE IN AFGHANISTAN ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR SUPPORT TO HELP BRING PEACE AND STABILITY TO THE NATION
As I was just out of high school in 2013, I had the opportunity to meet and sit down in a hotel conference room with Afghan leader Hanif Atmar. He has had several positions within Afghanistan government including Education Minister, Interior Minister and most recently National Security Advisor. I had read his bio prior to meeting with him which allowed me to learn about the different portfolios he has held. I shook his hand and told him what I was doing in Canada like recently completed school, and a volunteer in the nonprofit sector with Oxfam Canada. My uncle and my father attended a meeting the next day (pictured below) with me to see Atmar at Radisson Hotel in downtown Ottawa. So, we sat with him and heard about his involvement in detail under Former President Hamid Karzai’s government and so forth. He was quite critical of Karzai. Today, Atmar is running for Candidate in the Presidential Elections in Afghanistan.
The election has been delayed several times by Ashraf Ghani, the current President. Ghani is running his own government without much support from anyone in Kabul. Consequently, Atmar left his position with Ghani.
The next leader who I find to be actively involved in the political sphere of Afghanistan is Qazi Amin Waqad. He is a peace supporter and a member of the Afghanistan’s High Peace Council. I met Mr. Waqad in Kabul on my visit in 2017 and I found him to be friendly, warm and interested in moving the peace agenda to the next level not only on government level but as well from the civilian point.
I explained to him that we should work on a peace conference in Afghanistan together, and he was interested, and asked me to give him a proposal outlining the peace strategy and expenditure. But, at the time, I was also in contact with the Indian Embassy in Kabul where I was hoping to get funding from. The embassy did not support the idea of a peace conference in Kabul at the end. With excellent communication skills and immediate response to their queries, I was not impressed that they had turn down such a project.
As an Afghan – Canadian Citizen, I know developing good relationships takes a long time, however, I went above the ordinary person – to push for what is right for my Afghan country people, some opened their arms and others just couldn’t do anything due to their policy for the war torn nation.
The leaders of today and tomorrow are in Afghanistan, and they will work hard to bring peace and stability. I will continue to do the same.
Meladul Haq Ahmadzai