CPP's Sultan Barakat advises global policymakers on Afghanistan

HBKU Professor Advises Global Policymakers on the Challenge of Engagement with the Taliban’s De-Facto Government

26 Jun 2024

Dr. Sultan Barakat
Dr. Sultan Barakat

On Wednesday 29 May, Dr. Sultan Barakat, Professor of Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) College of Public Policy (CPP), was hosted by the Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Dutch House of Representatives to address the question of how the Netherlands can keep playing an effective role in Afghanistan in order to support the Afghan people and secure its foreign policy objectives. 
“Despite international media attention being currently diverted to the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, the question of Afghanistan is still a contentious topic that is being actively deliberated in Western diplomacy today. The international community is torn between recognizing the Taliban government in Kabul and holding it accountable to the universal values of human rights,” said Dr. Barakat
Dr. Barakat’s advice on how to move forward with the policy question of future engagement with the Taliban is based on the findings of an 18-month HBKU “action research” program, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and undertaken by a team from CPP led by the Professor. The participatory methodology used in the research involved the organization of four major Afghan Dialogue Forums that were held in Doha, Jakarta, Istanbul and Oslo between January 2023 and May 2024.
Professor Barakat has also been invited by parliamentarians and interdepartmental committees from the European Union (25 March), United Kingdom (29 April), and the Republic of Ireland (9 May), where he presented research findings on the merits of engaging (or not) as well as on the Taliban’s perceptions and agendas. 
“This is an excellent example of how innovative policy research undertaken by CPP and HBKU can have direct impact at the highest levels of international policymaking and on some of the most pressing issues facing the international community today,” added Dr. Leslie A. Pal, Professor and Dean, CPP.

Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Public Policy (CPP) reflects the priority the university places on supporting and contributing to effective policy development towards implementing the Qatar National Vision 2030. The College aims to be one of the leading public policy schools in the region and the world, acting as a bridge and a hub for innovative policy solutions across a range of issues.