India has hosted top security regional meet and invited officials from Russia, Iran, and five Central Asian countries to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, but no Afghan representative is present.
Rivals from India, Pakistan, and China refused to attend the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue in Afghanistan held on Wednesday following the collapse of the United States-backed government and the Taliban takeover.
India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has invited security officials from Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. “This is a time for dialogue between us,” Doval said in a statement before the meeting. He said he hoped the discussions would help the people of Afghanistan and improve the combined security.
The Indian Foreign Ministry (MEA) said in a statement that the conference would address “appropriate security challenges and support the Afghan people in promoting peace, security and stability.” Top security officials were expected to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Iran hosted the first two conference programs in 2018 and 2019.
Recent events in Afghanistan affect not only the people of the country but its neighbors and the other region, “National Security Adviser (NSA) adviser Ajit Doval said on Wednesday at an eight-nation India-hosted talk on the Afghan crisis. In his inaugural address, chairing the summit, Mr. Doval said it was time for discussion with greater and international cooperation.
The Delhi Regional Security Dialogue in Afghanistan has been visited by Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. India has hosted a dialogue to strengthen a similar approach to practical cooperation in tackling the growing threat of terrorism, radicalization, and drug trafficking following the occupation of the Taliban.
“We are meeting today to discuss issues affecting Afghanistan. We have all been watching what is happening in that country,” Mr. Doval said. “This has a significant impact not only on the people of Afghanistan but on its neighbors and the region,” he said.
India has officially invited the NSAs of Russia, Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to the summit. However, China and Pakistan had already stated they would not attend the meeting. No team from Afghanistan was invited. It is the first time all Central Asian countries – not just Afghanistan’s neighbors, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – are taking part in this format with Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic, according to development experts.
Last week, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf called India “a destroyer” and not a “peacemaker” in Afghanistan. India’s MEA officials have said Pakistan’s refusal to attend the summit is “unfortunate, but not surprising” and “shows its sense of view of Afghanistan as its protection.”
The conference underscores India’s efforts to protect its strategic interests in Afghanistan amid growing Pakistani influence in the region. Indian and Pakistani rivals have long tried to use force in Afghanistan to meet their security concerns. Indian leaders fear that the Taliban insurgency will benefit Pakistan and fuel a long-running insurgency in India-controlled Kashmir.
According to Indian security expert and political analyst Bharat Karnad, the conference in New Delhi “is a way to raise awareness of Indian poles and Indian interests in Afghanistan.” “This is an Indian way of saying that we have a hand in Afghanistan and we make that clear in the world,” Karnad told Al Jazeera.
Asked why no representative from Afghanistan was invited, he said: “The problem is that if you invite a representative from the Taliban government in Kabul, you will in some way be respected, acknowledging that government in India. I do not want this time. “
New Delhi’s relations with Afghanistan are in a state of disarray. It has no citizenship in Kabul after ousting its staff before the final US withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, it held its first official meeting with a Taliban representative in Qatar on August 31.
TCA Raghavan, India’s former ambassador to Afghanistan, told Al Jazeera that the conference allowed India to “work with Central Asian countries in Afghanistan, Iran and Russia.” “Overall, regional dialogue and efforts to build a strong regional consensus in Afghanistan, are improving,” he said.
“I do not see it, in particular, as the Indian speculation. I think this is an attempt by Afghanistan’s neighbors to see if they can improve the existing infrastructure. ” Before the Taliban took over Kabul, India provided Afghan security forces with practical training and military equipment, even though it had no troops on the ground. It became the most prominent regional provider of development assistance in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan’s Acting FM visits Pakistan.
Meanwhile, a senior Taliban delegation led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi is expected to visit Islamabad on Wednesday as India hosts an Afghan summit. The Taliban Foreign Ministry said Muttaqi would discuss several issues in his journey, from the economy to refugees, to improve transportation across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
This is Muttaqi’s first visit to Islamabad following the Taliban’s capture of Afghanistan in August. In India, a spokesman for the Taliban government, Inamullah Habibi Samangani, said that security and economic development in Afghanistan were conducive to its country.
edited and proofread by: nikita sharma