After Pakistan, China not to attend NSA meet on Afghanistan

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Updated: November 09, 2021 4:57 PM

The focus of the meeting on the Taliban-ruled war-torn Afghanistan which is taking place in physical format in New Delhi is on the present situation and the future outlook.

The whole focus of the meeting is to review the security situation in the region post the fall of Afghanistan to Taliban earlier this year in August. (AP Image)

Pakistan’s big brother China will not be attending the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, which is scheduled for November 10, 2021.

The focus of the meeting on the Taliban-ruled war-torn Afghanistan which is taking place in physical format in New Delhi is on the present situation and the future outlook.

Sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online “China has conveyed its inability to attend the Wednesday meeting due to scheduling reasons and is open to bilateral discussions through diplomatic channels.”

As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, countries which have confirmed their presence for the NSA (National Security Advisors) level meeting include: Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The meeting is going to be chaired by India’s NSA Ajit Doval.

Who will be present at the meeting?

Nikolai P Patrushev (Russia); Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani (Iran); Victor Makhmudov (Uzbekistan); Karim Massimov (Kazakhstan), Nasrullo Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda (Tajikistan), Charymyrat Kakalyyevvich Amavov (Turkmenistan) and Marat Mukanovich Imankulov (Kyrgyzstan).

Besides the multilateral meet of the visiting NSAs, bilateral level talks have been scheduled too.

NSA Ajit Doval will have bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan later today and tomorrow he will meet Russia, Iran and Kazakhstan NSAs.

At the end of the meetings all the visiting NSAs will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi before travelling to Agra and Amritsar for sightseeing.

What is the agenda of the meeting?

According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the whole focus of the meeting is to review the security situation in the region post the fall of Afghanistan to Taliban earlier this year in August.

All the NSAs will discuss measures to be taken to deal with the relevant security challenges as well supporting the people of that country and promoting stability, peace and security.

“Traditionally India has enjoyed close and friendly ties with the people of Afghanistan. And to address the humanitarian and security challenges being faced by Afghanistan, India has called for a unified international response. The meeting on Wednesday is a step in that direction,” the MEA statement has said.

Terrorism within and across the borders of Afghanistan, drug and human trafficking, radicalization, extremism, cross-border movement, as well the fear of potential use of the military grade equipment and small arms left behind by the US and its allies, are issues that will be discussed.

What is expected out of this meeting?

The NSAs will look at‘regional security architecture’ to deal with the challenges of Taliban 2.0 in Afghanistan and terrorism and radicalization, extremism, drug production and other critical issues.

Ahead of the meeting, according to sources, there is a “consensus’’ amongst all the NSAs who are participating that Pakistan is the main source of the problem. Why? “Because there is lack of credibility between that country’s intentions and actions,” said sources.

Who has organized the meeting?

The National Security Council Secretariat is the lead and has organized the conference and Taliban has not been invited for this. For the future meetings at this level more countries are expected to be invited.

This meeting according to sources is a “security track” where the top security advisors of the countries are going to get together to deliberate on issues which are of major security concern in the region.

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