The Heart of Asia Process at a Juncture: An Analysis of Impediments to Further Progress

 (POLICY PAPER)

On Monday June 23, 2014, the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) released its research report Heart of Asia Process (HoAP). The research project was conducted two years ago by the AISS.  At the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) in Kabul we had received signals from diplomats and scholars that Process’ members interest in it has somewhat waned since its conception and that it is not living up to its potential. As we explored existing analyses we were appalled by the lack of quality media coverage of the Process, and the limited academic inquiry in it.  Subsequently, we decided to delve into this by means of a scholarly project and analyze impediments to progress of the Process. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom (UK), through their embassy in Kabul, kindly provided the monetary means necessary to conduct this project over a period of four months.

MAIN FINDINGS

  • Sole regional process where Afghanistan is in the lead, allowing it to contribute to setting its own agenda.
  • Brokering discussion within a single platform among states that have hitherto had difficulty interacting.
  • Ample regional interest, as displayed by China’s decision to host the 2014 ministerial conference as well as participation at the senior official level from all participating countries, including Pakistan.
  • Six CBMs initiated that contribute to building trust and allowing people-to-people exchanges at the technical level.

Click here for a pdf copy of the report.