Why India is hosting NSA summit on Afghanistan and its message to China, Pakistan

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Be it the G20 summit, BRICS or bilateral discussions, India has been a major partner on the issue of Afghanistan. Seven security officials from Russia, Iran and all five Central Asian countries will arrive in Delhi on Tuesday to participate in the first-of-its-kind regional talks on Afghanistan hosted by India.

New Delhi: India has played a key role in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, spending over USD three billion on people-centric projects in the country over the past two decades, even as the Taliban acknowledged New Delhi’s contribution.

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Be it the G20 summit, BRICS or bilateral discussions, India has been a major partner on the issue of Afghanistan. Seven security officials from Russia, Iran and all five Central Asian countries will arrive in Delhi on Tuesday to participate in the first-of-its-kind regional talks on Afghanistan hosted by India.

Besides Russia and Iran, the National Security Advisors (NSAs) of five Central Asian countries – Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – will participate in India’s meeting on Afghanistan. Delhi.

The meeting will be chaired by India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Earlier Iran had hosted dialogues in a similar format.

It is a continuation of the format introduced by Iran in 2018 and 2019, however, this time the dialogue will see the highest participation of seven countries.

Following the format, India had invited Pakistan and China. However, both declined on the expected line.

China cited scheduling issues and said it was open to talks with India on Afghanistan at the multilateral and bilateral levels.

China also participated in the previous meetings organized by Iran and the recent BRICS meeting.

The authorities here seem to have never wanted Pakistan to be part of the solution, in fact, it is well acknowledged that it is the source of the problem in Afghanistan.

It is no secret to the world that Pakistan has been providing support to Taliban regional shuras for years and is not hiding with Pakistan’s notorious spy agency – Inter-Services Intelligence (IS) – Haqqani and ISIS Khorasan.

Also, Pakistan has emerged as a major impediment to the flow of humanitarian aid to Afghans.

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India is ready to supply much-needed aid but Pakistan is not allowing access to land-locked Afghanistan.

Pakistan did not attend any meeting organized by Iran in this format and has now declined India’s invitation as well.

India, along with seven other countries participating in the Delhi Dialogue, will discuss in detail the terrorist threats emanating from and around Afghanistan, with extremism and radicalization also a major concern among many participants, who feel that their countries Many hotheads may be affected in the U.S. and there may be the export or spread of ideology in their societies, drug trafficking, the use of huge arms left by the United States is another cause for concern.

Beyond the above factors the ‘uncertainty’ as to what will happen next is also a common point of discussion.

Interestingly, Pakistan is oblivious to the above issues and is in constant talks with the Taliban government.

Iran, Russia and all the Central Asian countries participating in the talks are far from recognizing or legitimizing the Taliban regime, sources told ANI, adding that recognizing the Taliban is also not on their agenda as they were in the 90s and today. Let’s see no change in the Taliban.

All participating countries have a common ground and concern with respect to the representation of minorities, inclusivity, women’s rights and human rights in Afghanistan.

Russia and Iran and some countries in Central Asia for that matter are engaging with the Taliban, but the red lines are clear and at the same time they consider India as a major stakeholder in the region.

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There is a consensus and common ground that will be reflected during the dialogue, this is not a protocol-driven dialogue, it is a special dialogue with a practical approach, the big deal is whether Kabul will read the writing on the wall.

First published:November 9, 2021, 9:22 am

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