November 12, 2021 - 12:32 pm

NSA Meet on Afghanistan

India hosted the 'Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan' to discuss the ongoing situation in neighbouring Afghanistan following the fall of the democratically-elected government and the subsequent the Taliban takeover of the country. The National Security Advisors from seven other countries namely Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan attendant the day-long meeting chaired by India's NSA Ajit Doval. China and Pakistan declined the invitation to attend the conference and no delegations from Afghanistan was invited.

                                  The idea of such a dialogue was first mooted in 2018, when the US decided to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The second meeting took place in December 2019, again hosted by Iran. Pakistan attended neither meeting. This time Pakistan has predictably decided to skip the meaning. China tended both previous meetings in Iran, but this time it has cited 'scheduling issues' to convey that it will not participate and told India it is "open to maintaining contacts with India on Afghanistan through bilateral and multilateral channel."

                                  The meeting is being seen as parts of Indian efforts to remain relevant in addressing the fallout of the development in Afghanistan. The Delhi declaration adopted by the NSA said that the participants discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan, especially the security situations and its regional and global ramifications. Special attention to the current political situation in Afghanistan and threat rising from terrorism, radicalization and drug trafficking as well as the need for humanitarian assistance were considered at large. They made agreement on several issues ranging from security to peace and development.

                                  India feels that the high-level participations at the meeting reflects the widespread and growing concern of region countries about the situation in Afghanistan and their desired to consult and co-ordinate with each other. India has an important role to play in this process. The grouping can be extended in the future including other influential players such as the US. Kabul seeks the conference as a hopeful step to facilitate the provision of assistance to Afghanistan.