India, Russia, Iran and five central Asian countries here on Wednesday vowed to work for ensuring that Afghanistan does not become a ‘safe haven for global terrorism’ and called for the formation of an open and truly inclusive government in Kabul during a meeting of their top security officials.
At the end of the security dialogue to review the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, a declaration was adopted by these eight nations, reaffirming that the territory under the Afghans shouldn't be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing terrorist activities. The central Asian countries that attended the dialogue included the likes of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. As hosts, India had invited neighbours China and Pakistan too but both the countries decided not to attend it.
Significantly, the declaration also emphasised the need for respecting the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan and non-interference in its internal affairs, seen as an indirect message to Pakistan.
The Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan expressed concern over the deteriorating socio-economic and humanitarian situation in that country and underlined the need to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people in an unimpeded, direct and assured manner and that the assistance is distributed within the country in a non-discriminatory manner across all sections of the Afghan society.
The declaration said the officials reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan. "The sides paid special attention to the current political situation in Afghanistan and threats arising from terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking and the need for humanitarian assistance," it said.
In his opening remarks, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who also chaired the meeting, said the recent developments in Afghanistan have important implications for the entire region.
“We have all been keenly watching the developments in Afghanistan. These have important implications, not only for its people, but also for its neighbours and the entire region,” he said.
Doval also said that it is time for closer consultations, greater cooperation and coordination among the regional countries to deal with the challenges emanating from Afghanistan. The declaration said the officials condemned in the strongest terms all terrorist activities and reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms including its financing.
It said they also expressed deep concern over the suffering of the Afghan people arising from the security situation there and condemned the terrorist attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar and abul. They specifically emphasised that Afghan territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts.
They stressed the necessity of forming an open and truly inclusive government that represents the will of all the people of Afghanistan and has representation from all sections of their society, including major ethnopolitical forces in the country.
Iran had hosted the dialogue under the same framework in 2018 and 2019.
In his comments, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani¸ the secretary of Iran's supreme national security council talked about the challenges of terrorism, poverty and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan "The solution comes only through the formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic groups," he said.
Chief of Kazakhstan's national security committee Karim Massimov said the situation inside Afghanistan remains complicated."With the Taliban movement coming to power, the situation inside the country remains complicated. There are many obstacles to forming an effective government," he said.
Secretary of Russia's security council Nikolai Patrushev referred to various dialogue mechanisms on the Afghan issue including the Moscow Format and the Turkic Council and emphasised that they should not "duplicate work but complement each other".
After the dialogue, the officials made a joint call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him about the deliberations.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)