What is the so called "Istanbul process"? Do you agree with the view that Istanbul Process is nothing more than a talk shop? Argue.

Published: March 17, 2016

The Istanbul Process aims at regional security and cooperation for economic and political tie up between Afghanistan and other ‘Heart of Asia’ countries for sincere and result‐orienteddecisions. The Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process was jointly launched by the Afghanistan and Turkey in 2011. The main motives behind Istanbul Process were:

  • The withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, followed by reduced international engagement in their internal affairs
  • A sustained incremental approach to implementation of the Confidence Building Measures
  • Since Afghan problems not only affect Afghanistan but also the other nations in the region, it generated the need for strengthening trust and cooperation with the other regional economies, and thus contributing to the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan and other economies

Though Istanbul process has fine motives, but it is nothing more than a talk shop and its performance has been slow and tardy due to various reasons such as:

  • Unclear foreign policy of the Afghan government and lack of political will in administration
  • Conflicting agendas of the participating members such as Pakistan not being happy with India’s inclusion; China, Russia, and Iran view the process for US dominance in the region
  • Older animosity between Russia and Afghanistan
  • Af-Pak tensions over Baluchistan

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