New Delhi: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval Wednesday said the recent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has “implications” not just for its immediate neighbours but also for the region at large and hence it is important to have “greater cooperation and coordination” and shape up a regional security structure.
Doval, who chaired the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue initiated by Russia two years back, said: “We all have been keenly watching the developments in that country (Afghanistan). These (Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and formation of the interim government there) have implications not only for the people of Afghanistan but also for its neighbours and the region. This is the time for close consultations amongst us, greater cooperation and coordination among the regional countries.”
He added the talks “will contribute to help the people of Afghanistan and enhance our collective security.”
Doval was accompanied by Pankaj Saran, Deputy NSA; Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Foreign Secretary; and J.P. Singh, Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran), Ministry of External Affairs.
This is the third round of this format of talks involving the security chiefs of Russia, India, China, Pakistan, Iran, and the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The first two rounds took place in Tehran in 2018 and 2019. India was to host the meeting in 2020 but it got postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
Pakistan NSA Moeed Yusuf rejected India’s invitation while China did not attend Wednesday’s meeting citing scheduling issues.
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Russia, Iran flag terrorism concerns under Taliban govt
Expressing concerns over the absence of Pakistan and China, Iran said it is important that all countries in this region come together to find out a joint mechanism on the Afghanistan issue.
Iran was represented by Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani¸ Secretary, Supreme National Security Council.
“India has played a great role in Afghanistan… Today Afghanistan is facing terrorism, poverty and misery, unfortunately. Basically, Afghanistan is only facing crisis and there is also the crisis of migration and refugees,” Shamkhani said.
Shamkhani added, “The solution comes only with the formation of an inclusive government and participation of all ethnic groups and therefore we hope we will be able to determine who will be the force” and what mechanisms should be worked out.
He also said we should be able to resolve the crisis by “working with each other” even as he expressed concern over the absence of security heads of Pakistan and China.
Russia, meanwhile, said the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue will help in the “restoration of peace” in Afghanistan by taking practical steps in arresting threats emanating from within the territory of Afghanistan.
Nikolai P. Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council, Russia said this format of talks including the ‘Moscow Format’ of the dialogue on Afghanistan should continue.
He said it is important to explore through these dialogues a way to “long-lasting peace” in the war-ravaged country even as he highlighted that the developing situation of Afghanistan should be given priority at the “highest level”.
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Afghanistan situation ‘complicated’, say Central Asian nations
Karim Massimov, Chairman of the National Security Committee, Kazakhstan, said since the fall of Kabul, the situation in Afghanistan has become “complicated”.
“There are many obstacles to form an effective government system (in Kabul), terrorist organisations are intensifying their activities. We are strongly concerned, we are strongly concerned with the operations of the Central Asian fighters. Social and economic situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and the country is facing a humanitarian crisis,” said Massimov.
He urged the international community to step up their actions to help manage the humanitarian catastrophe taking place in that country.
Marat Mukanovich Imankulov, Secretary of the Security Council of Kyrgyzstan, highlighted the activities of terrorist outfits that are increasing in Afghanistan.
Nasrullo Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda, Secretary, Security Council of Tajikistan, expressed concerns over the political stability in Afghanistan and liberties of Afghan people, and said his country is more concerned since it has a long border with Afghanistan.
“The current situation in Afghanistan poses extra risk of drug trafficking, extremism and criminality,” Mahmudzoda said, adding that Tajikistan and Afghanistan border remains “complicated” due to many factors.
Turkmenistan said this is an important format of dialogue that India hosted.
Charymyrat Kakalyyevvich Amavov, Deputy Chairman of Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan on Security & Secretary, State Security Council, said, “What happened in Afghanistan in a short period of time should compel all countries to work together.”
Victor Makhmudov, Secretary of the Security Council under the President of Uzbekistan, said the situation in Afghanistan is “difficult” and it is imperative to find out an effective solution for bringing peace there.
Doval will also be holding three bilateral meetings later today with Patrushev, Shamkhani and Massimov. On Tuesday, Doval separately met Mahmudzoda and Makhmudov.
(Edited by Neha Mahajan)
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