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Crisis at the Crossroads: What Can Afghanistan’s Neighbours Do to Help Stabilization and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan?

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The 2021 regime change in Afghanistan, precipitated by the withdrawal of US troops, has created a new geopolitical situation in the region. Due to the unique position of Afghanistan as a key crossroads of Asia, the continuing crisis in the country dramatically influences the prospects for security and cooperation in the region. The primary responsibility for helping Afghanistan achieve peace and stability is now in the hands of its neighbours. This webinar will review the policies of Afghanistan’s neighbours towards the new regime in Kabul and the emerging patterns of regional cooperation and conflict in the region.

The webinar will be in English.

Presented by Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa, the Asian Studies Network (ASN), and the York Centre for Asian Research, York University


Ahmed Rashid is a journalist and best-selling author of several books on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, and the Taliban. In addition to serving as a correspondent for London’s Daily Telegraph covering this region, he has regularly contributed to the BBC and the Washington Post.

Dr. Shanthie Mariet D’Souza is Founder & President of Mantraya independent research forum and Visiting Faculty and Member of Research & Advisory Committee at the Naval War College, Goa. She has worked with governmental and non-governmental sectors for more than a decade and conducted field-based studies in various provinces of Afghanistan. Her research interests and expertise include politics of aid, development, gender and security in Afghanistan; regional dynamics and prospects for long-term stabilisation of Afghanistan, and other topics. Further bio details available at She can be reached at She tweets @shanmariet.

Dr. Xuecheng Li is visiting Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been teaching courses on South Asian politics and Asian multilateral cooperation since 2018 at this university. He served as a Senior Research Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies and China Foundation of International Studies. Dr. Liu hosted the China-US Dialogue on Afghanistan from 2010 to 2018. His publications include thoughtful works on China, India and Pakistan’s policies and interactions in Afghanistan.

Dr. Sergei Plekhanov is Associate Professor at the Department of Politics, York University, and Director of the South and Central Asia Initiative at the York Centre for Asian Research. His area of expertise includes the politics and international relations of Russia and post-Soviet Eurasia. He is a well-reputed Canadian expert in the local, regional and global aspects of the crisis in Afghanistan.

Farid Ahmad Tookhy, is a Senior Fellow serving Afghanistan and the Middle East Program at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy, a non-profit and non-partisan North American thinktank. He worked with the United Nations in Afghanistan and undertook research with USIP (United States Institute of Diplomacy). His most recent research work with USIP covers Iran’s policy toward Afghanistan. His research interests include politics and religion, state-building, political sociology, and Middle Eastern politics. He served as an instructor at Georgetown University and the University of Ottawa.

Ali A. Jalali is a distinguished politician, diplomat and academic who served as the Minister of Interior in the Republican government and is an expert on political, military and security issues in Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia. Mr. Jalali is now a distinguished Professor at Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Washington D. C.



Dr. Roland Paris is Professor and Director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He was the founding Director of the Center for International Policy Studies. Dr. Paris is a member of the Chatham House International Affairs think tank. He is internationally known for his expertise in international relations, international security, peacebuilding, foreign policy and global governance.


Dr. Nipa Banerjee is a senior policy analyst in international relations and international development known for extensive and long field experience in Afghanistan.