In Delhi, 8 nations say Afghan territory shouldn't be used for terror acts

In his opening remarks, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said the recent developments in that country have important implications not only for Afghan people but also for the region

Dialogue on Afghanistan in Delhi
Photo: Reuters

Top security czars of India, Russia, Iran and five central Asian countries on Wednesday flagged concerns over the possible spread of terrorist activities from the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and called for a collective approach to deal with the challenge.

In his opening remarks at the India-hosted Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said the recent developments in that country have important implications not only for Afghan people but also for the region.

Chairing the meet, Doval said it is time for closer consultations, greater cooperation and coordination among the regional countries to deal with the challenges emanating from Afghanistan.

"We all have been keenly watching the developments in that country. These have important implications not only for the people of Afghanistan but also for its neighbours and the region," he said.

"This is the time for close consultation, greater cooperation and interaction and coordination among the regional countries," he said.

The dialogue is aimed at firming up a common approach for practical cooperation in confronting increasing threats of terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul.

Both Pakistan and China were also invited by India, but they decided not to attend the meet.

The central Asian countries attending the dialogue are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

"I am confident that our deliberations will be productive, useful and will contribute to help the people of Afghanistan and enhance our collective security," Doval said.

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 and hoped that a mechanism will be found out to address the challenges.

"I would like to thank and appreciate the role that India has played, as they have a great role in Afghanistan," 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".

Patrushev also called for practical measures to combat challenges flowing out of the Afghan crisis, asserting that the Moscow Format of dialogue retains the important potential to coordinate efforts to settle the Afghanistan issue.

"In Moscow, we laid a good foundation to determine the position of our countries regarding the development of the dialogue with the Taliban as well as to practically coordinate the efforts of all stakeholders of the region," he said.

"I expect that today we will be able to take another step forward in deliberating common measures for ensuring national security and maintaining regional stability," 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 system," he said.

"Terrorist organisations are intensifying their activities. We are strongly concerned with the operations of the Central Asian fighters. The social and economic situation of Afghans is deteriorating as the country is facing a humanitarian crisis," he said.

Massimov said it is necessary to increase the humanitarian assistance for Afghan people and that the international community must put in efforts to ensure stability in Afghanistan.

"It is highly important to begin concrete actions," he said.

Tajikistan's security council secretary Nasrullo Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda the situation in Afghanistan triggered extra risk for the region.

He also said that there was a need to provide assistance to the people of Afghanistan as the country may face a humanitarian catastrophe, especially during the winter.