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NSAs meet on Afghanistan: India calls for greater cooperation, consultations

The eight nations reiterated a collective cooperation against the menace of radicalisation, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 10 November 2021, 17:06 IST
Last Updated : 10 November 2021, 17:06 IST
Last Updated : 10 November 2021, 17:06 IST
Last Updated : 10 November 2021, 17:06 IST

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Even as Pakistan is hosting delegation of the Taliban dispensation in Afghanistan, India on Wednesday secured support of Iran, Russia and five Central Asian nations to stress that the conflict-ravaged nation must have an “open and truly inclusive government” representing the will of all its people.

A meeting of the top security officials of India, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in New Delhi ended with the eight nations stressing that an open and truly inclusive government in Afghanistan should have representation from all sections of the society, including major ethno-political forces of the country.

“Inclusion of all sections of the society in the administrative and political structure is imperative for the successful national reconciliation process in the country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval, and his counterparts from Moscow, Tehran and the five Central Asian nations stressed in a joint statement – Delhi Declaration – issued at the end of the meeting.

They also emphasised that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist act.

Doval hosted his counterparts from Moscow, Tehran and the Central Asian nations for the regional security dialogue just a day before Pakistan would host a meeting of the Special Representatives or Special Envoys of China, Russia and the United States on Afghanistan. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would inaugurate the “Troika Plus” meeting, which would be attended by the representative of the interim government the Taliban installed in Afghanistan.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Foreign Minister of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, already arrived in Pakistan to attend the meeting on Thursday.

Pakistan and its “iron brother” China turned down India’s invitation to attend the regional security dialogue on Afghanistan on Wednesday. China, however, confirmed that it would send a representative to attend the meeting to be hosted by Pakistan on Thursday.

The new US Special Envoy on Afghanistan, Thomas West, will also attend the meeting in Islamabad before travelling to New Delhi for consultation with the Government of India.

Doval and his counterparts from Russia, Iran and the Central Asian nations reaffirmed firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalization, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism.

They called for “collective cooperation against the menace of radicalization, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region”.

Doval and his guests later called on the Prime Minister, who also stressed on an inclusive government in Afghanistan, a zero-tolerance stance about territory of Afghanistan being used by terrorist groups, a strategy to counter trafficking of drugs and arms from Afghanistan and addressing the increasingly critical humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

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Published 10 November 2021, 10:51 IST

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