Afghan Biographies

Cooperation for Peace and Unity CPAU

Name Cooperation for Peace and Unity CPAU
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Background Names
History and Biodata

Kanishka Nawabi

With postgraduate degrees from the UK, Kanishka Nawabi has extensive research, public sector, development and NGO management experience both in Afghanistan and at the international level. He Managed Cooperation for Peace and Unity from 2004 to which he is a Chairman of the Board at the moment. He served as the Senior Security Advisor to the Afghan Ministry of Interior until 2010. Among his research works are Afghan NGOs Communication Systems; Advocacy Practices: Afghanistan 2001 Onwards; Armed Groups and Peace Processes; Religious Civil Society; and Transformation of War Economies. He has also co-founded the Hambastagi Consulting Group ( with ex-Afghan cabinet Minister Haneef Atmar.

Idress Zaman

Idrees Zaman is the Managing Director of CPAU with a role to oversee and monitor all CPAU programs and supporting departments. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history and MBA in financial management, he started his career with an internship at an Afghan NGO in 1995. After working there for a decade in different executive positions including Finance Director, in 2005 he started freelance consultancies in Afghanistan, during which time he worked in some major research projects including mid-term evaluation of Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Program NSP, conducted by PRDU unit of York University. In 2006 he joined CPAU at his current position.

Having attended numerous trainings sessions in different disciplines, and with a vast study of the history and political dynamics of Afghanistan and the region, he has been part of/authored some major research studies such as: Mid-term Evaluation of National Solidarity Program NSP (2005-6), Religious Civil Society (June – November 2006), Transformation of War Economies (August – October 2006), NGOs, PRTs, Government and Communities in Afghanistan (2007), Analysis of Asia Foundation survey “Afghanistan in 2007” (2007-8), Bridging the Gap: Increasing Civil Society Participation in Law and Policy Formulation in Afghanistan (2010).

Khibar Rassul

Khibar Rassul is the Head of Research and Program Departments at CPAU. Mr. Rassul is a Swedish-Afghan who returned to Afghanistan after finishing his BA in Political Science and International Economic Analysis from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Seattle and his MSc in Violence Conflict and Development from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Seeking to use his education to further peace and justice in Afghanistan he joined CPAU in 2009 as a project manager where he implemented various peacebuilding and research projects. He is also a contributing writer to the 2011 Afghanistan National Human development Report.

Shodi Abdulvasiev

Shodi Abdulvasiev is a Program Manager with CPAU with the main role of overseeing the implementation of the peacebuilding and justice linkages projects in the northern Afghanistan; most of the projects are funded by Dutch and French Embassies, EC, USAID etc. With the Bachelor of Arts in International Comparative Politics from American University in Central Asia and Master of Arts Degree in Sustainable Development from US, his background includes seven years of experience working in international development and humanitarian relief in Asia and North America with the organizations such as UN agencies, GIZ, Aga Khan Development Network and Action Aid International.  In the fall of 2011 he joined CPAU Program Department at his current position.

Emma Corneliusson

Emma Corneliusson is the Senior Program Officer with CPAU with the main role of ensuring implementation of community-based peacebuilding and justice linkage projects. Ms. Cornerliusson is also engaged in ding rpogram related reseach with the aim of better improving the impact of the work conducted by CPAU. With a BA in Political Science and a MA in Politics and International Studies from Uppsala University, Ms. Corneliusson joined the CPAU team in early 2012. She did so with the ambition to put her education and previous experience of conflict sensitive programming and field research to practical use, as well as aiming to complement and strengthen the CPAU team in their work to build peace locally within Afghanistan.

In October 1996, a small group of committed Afghans began seeking ways to help foster peace in Afghanistan. They met together and talked about forming an organization through which they are able to expand their objectives and try to promote peace in Afghanistan. Eventually, they established Cooperation for Peace and Unity (CPAU) - the first Afghan organization to work for peace - as a non-governmental and not-for-profit organization, furthering the interest of no political entity in Afghanistan or elsewhere.

CPAU works for the promotion of knowledge and awareness of peace, social justice, and human rights as the foundation upon which the future development of Afghanistan will be built. Through direct encouragement and participation in active peacebuilding, CPAU hopes to contribute to the creation of a viable alternative to war and violence, as the first step towards building a lasting peace.

CPAU is also the first Afghan-led research organization in Afghanistan with the aim of building up the capacity of Afghans to conduct quality research at a competitive level, and help empower Afghan civil society to take a leadership role in research, advocacy and policy formulation in peace and development processes and debates nationally; giving ownership back to Afghans.

In 2008, to meet its institutional strategic plan and individual project plans as implemented by CPAU’s Research Unit, CPAU became the first Afghan NGO to open an office in Europe with the objective of more targeted delivery of CPAU’s research output, and increase in the potential for achieving policy change accordingly.

Last Modified 2012-07-05
Established 2012-07-05