As the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan approaches, Afghanistan’s neighbors will have a greater impact on shaping the country’s uncertain future. Samina Ahmed and Mark L. Schneider discussed the transition with a particular focus on Pakistan’s role. They addressed civil-military divisions over Pakistan’s Afghanistan policy, assessed the impact of cross-border militancy on Afghanistan’s stabilization, and discussed the implications of Pakistan’s involvement in a potential negotiation process between the Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai government and the Taliban. Carnegie’s Frederic Grare moderated.

Samina Ahmed

Samina Ahmed oversees the International Crisis Group’s work in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Nepal. Her team focuses on political, security, and stability issues in South Asia, including problems of authoritarianism, Islamic extremism, domestic and regional terrorism, international involvement and intervention in the region, and domestic insurgencies and the risk of interstate conflict.

Mark L. Schneider

Mark L. Schneider has been senior vice president at the International Crisis Group since 2001, where he directs the Washington advocacy office. Schneider previously served as the director of the Peace Corps, as assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and as principal deputy assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs.

Frederic Grare

Frederic Grare is senior associate and director of Carnegie’s South Asia Program. He works on India’s Look East policy, on Afghanistan and Pakistan’s regional policies, and on the tension between stability and democratization, including civil-military relations, in Pakistan.