Another very interesting discussion was on the topic ‘On the other side of the Fence: Modern Afghanistan’. Its panelists were Ben Hopkins (George Washington University) Razia Sultana (Quaid-e-Azam University) and Ryan Brasher (Forman Christian College) who shed light on Afghan history and mind set.

The discussion started with a presentation on Frontier Crimes Regulation and its origins in the Murderous Outragous Act 1877. Ben traced the expansion of FCR to other British colonies like Iraq, Nigeria, Kenya, Argentina and USA.

This was followed by Razia Sultana who traced the history of Afghanistan and how various tribes came together under Ahmed Shah Durrani, and how the Afghan conquered and ruled up to Delhi for the next century. This was a very informative and fascinating take for many in the audience.  The third speaker Ryan Brasher briefly talked about the political dimensions of Afghanistan’s districts from beginning to the present day and the role these divisions played in the political dynamics of Afghanistan today.

The questions ranged from the reason of the Russian invasion in 1979 for the withdrawal in 1989. The US invasion, the Taliban phenomenon and how the post-Soviet governments governed Afghanistan including US influence, regional politics and interference. The audience participated in the discussion whole heartedly and the presenters were straight and minced no words in their responses.