Calls for non-interference in country’s internal affairs
New Delhi: Russia, Iran and the five Central Asian countries joined India on Wednesday in stressing on a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, while calling for non-interference in its internal affairs, in an oblique reference to Pakistan that has sheltered the Afghan Taliban for years and is now engaged with its regime in Kabul.
The Delhi Declaration, issued after talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his counterparts from Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, saw the eight participants also emphasise that Afghanistan’s territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts.
The Declaration “reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasizing the respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs”.
At the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, hosted by India, the security chiefs discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan, especially the security situation and its regional and global ramifications.
The eight security chief condemned the terrorist attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar and Kabul, referring to the suicide bombings carried out by the Islamic State-Khorasan in recent weeks, targeting mainly Shias. Sources in India have said they believe that Pakistan is directly behind the IS-KP and the violence unfolding in Afghanistan.
The Delhi Declaration “condemned in the strongest terms all terrorist activities and reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalization, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism”.
They also called for a collective cooperation against the menace of radicalization, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region.
They also “recalled the relevant UN Resolutions on Afghanistan”, in a reference to the UNSC resolution passed on August 30 under India’s presidency, and “noted that the United Nations has a central role to play in Afghanistan and that its continued presence in the country must be preserved”.
They emphasized the importance of ensuring that the fundamental rights of women, children and minority communities are not violated and underlined the need to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
They also called for humanitarian assistance to be provided in an “unimpeded, direct and assured manner”, and assistance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
They reiterated the importance of their dialogue and agreed to remain engaged with each other in the future.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, NSA Doval said the developments in Afghanistan have important implications not only for the people of that country but also for its neighbours and the region and called for close consultations among countries of the region.
Iranian security chief Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani¸ in his remarks, appreciated the role of India in participating in the meetings, and said: “I think India has a great role in Afghanistan”.
He said that Afghanistan today “is involved in terrorism, poverty and misery and the crisis of migration and refugees”.
The Kazak security chief Karim Massimov, said that his country “monitors with high attention the threats and challenges that are coming from Afghanistan. With the Taliban coming to power, the situation in that country remains complicated.”
“Terrorist organisations are intensifying their activities, we are strongly concerned with the appearance of the Central Asian fighters,” he said. Marat Mukanovich Imankulov, the security head of Kyrgyzstan, raised concerns about the activities of terrorist organisations in Afghanistan.
Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, said that multilateral meetings of the secretaries of security organisations on the Afghan issue (such as the Delhi Dialogue) “is an important format that helps to discuss the developing situation in Afghanistan at the highest level’.
He touched upon the Moscow Format meeting held last month, to which India too was invited, and remarked that all the participants of the Delhi Dialogue were also part of the third meeting of the Moscow Format held on October 25 “that confirmed its effectiveness due to the broad representation of stakeholders”.
“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 our efforts of all stakeholders of the region,” he said, in reference to the Moscow Format to which the Taliban was also invited.
Nasrullo Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda, of Tajikistan, touching on the long border it shares with Afghanistan, said the current situation in Afghanistan ‘creates extra risk, and the possibilities for growth of drug trafficking, terrorism and criminal activities”.
Charymyrat Kakalyyevvich Amavov of Turkmenistan and Victor Makhmudov the security chief of Uzbekistan also addressed the gathering.
Later, all the security czars made a joint call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (UNI)