India organizing Security Conference on Afghanistan; 7 countries, including Russia and Iran to participate


NEW DELHI: Key countries, including Russia, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are participating in the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10.

Sources have said that the meeting will look at evolving “regional security architecture” to deal with the challenges arising out of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, particularly terrorism within and across its border, radicalization and extremism, cross-border movement, drug production and trafficking, and potential use of weapons and equipment left behind by the US and its allies.

The meeting will be attended by Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani (Iran), Nikolai P Patrushev (Russia), Karim Massimov (Kazakhstan), Marat Mukanovich Imankulov (Kyrgyzstan), Nasrullo Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda (Tajikistan), Charymyrat Kakalyyevvich Amavov (Turkmenistan) and Victor Makhmudov (Uzbekistan), according to Indian Express.

The top security officials are expected to jointly call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

Some of the visiting delegates will also travel to Amritsar and Agra for sightseeing, the report added.

With security concerns pertaining to Afghanistan dominating Delhi’s mind, the conference is being held on the Taliban-ruled country’s “current situation and future outlook”.

Apart from the multilateral element, there will be bilateral meetings as well, the newspaper said quoting sources.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the “high-level dialogue will review the security situation in the region arising from recent developments in Afghanistan”.

“It will deliberate upon measures to address the relevant security challenges and support the people of Afghanistan in promoting peace, security and stability,” it said.

“India has traditionally enjoyed close and friendly ties with the people of Afghanistan and has called for a unified international response to address the security and humanitarian challenges facing Afghanistan. The forthcoming meeting is a step in that direction,” it said.

Meanwhile, it has been learned that Pakistan and China have refused to take part in the meeting citing “scheduling issues”.

However, China has said that it is open to maintaining contact and discussions through bilateral diplomatic channels.

Sources in Delhi said there is “consensus” among regional countries attending the conference that Pakistan is “source of the problem”.

There is a credibility gap between Pakistan’s actions and intentions on Afghanistan, sources said.

The newspaper report further quoted source as saying that “Pakistan’s decision is unfortunate, but not surprising. It reflects its mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate. Pakistan has not attended the previous meetings of this format. Its media comments against India are an unsuccessful attempt to deflect attention from its pernicious role in Afghanistan.”

Sources said there has been an “overwhelming response to India’s invitation”.

“Central Asian countries as well as Russia and Iran have confirmed participation. This would be the first time that all Central Asian countries, not just Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, would be participating in this format. The enthusiastic response is a manifestation of the importance attached to India’s role in regional efforts to promote peace and security in Afghanistan,” they said.


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