The Ottawa Dialogue is a Track Two process involving a distinguished group of retired senior officials and military officers from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is led by Peter Jones, Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
In a recent public statement, Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, said that this University of Ottawa initiative facilitates dialogue and debate on the regional situation.
The Dialogue has four distinct paths of discussion:
- India-Pakistan nuclear stability;
- India-Pakistan conventional military confidence-building measures;
- India-Pakistan maritime confidence-building and cooperation; and
- dialogue among India, Pakistan and Afghanistan on the future of Afghanistan and issues of regional stability.
Participants met in Kabul this month for the first session of the India-Pakistan-Afghanistan dialogue. They received briefings from high-level Afghan and international officials on the current situation in the country, and met with President Karzai to receive his views.
The group selected two issues on which it will hold further meetings over the next two years in order to develop concrete recommendations and proposals: (1) prospects for regional economic cooperation, and ways in which Afghanistan can be stabilized through economic assistance; and (2) the development of guidelines concerning the intervention of foreign countries in Afghanistan’s internal affairs.
The Dialogue will hold meetings several times a year in locations around the region. It is also looking at ways of doing more public outreach in the region in order to get its ideas more fully onto the regional public agenda.