IRI Hosts Afghan Parliamentarians for Study-Tour of Counter-Narcotics Efforts

The International Republican Institute hosted seven Afghan parliamentarians for a two-week tour to study the development of counter-narcotics policy and federal, state and local enforcement mechanisms – a critical issue facing Afghanistan.  The delegation visited Washington, DC and Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM.

While in Washington, the delegation held meetings with officials from numerous government agencies and federal programs in DC, including the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and Bureau of South Asian and Central Asian Affairs, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Congressional Research Services.

The parliamentarians also met with fellow legislators, including a meeting with Senator Chuck Hagel (NE).  During the meeting Hagel discussed U.S.-Afghan relations, and expressed his commitment to international coordination in the anti-narcotics effort.  The delegation also met with representatives of nongovernmental organizations in Washington at a roundtable discussion hosted by IRI and moderated by Scholar-in-Residence at the Middle East Institute Dr. Marvin G. Weinbaum.

In New Mexico, the parliamentarians met Chief Deputy Attorney General Albert Lama and toured New Mexico’s Supreme Court.  The delegation observed drug interdiction on the local level, meeting with the Bernalillo County Sherriff and the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Albuquerque Branch.  Following their trip, the parliamentarians agreed to launch a counter-narcotics caucus in Afghanistan’s Wolesi Jirga, the lower-house of parliament.

Members of the Afghan parliamentarian delegation included Burhanullah Shinwari, Azita Rafat, Sahera Sharif, Ruqia Nayel, Babrak Shinwari, Irfanullah Irfan, and Saeed Rahman Ehsas.  

The study tour was funded by the Institute for Representative Government. 

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