Key India led regional summit on Afghanistan gets underway
New Delhi, Nov 10: The Afghanistan conference being hosted by Indian National Security Council Secretariat headed by National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval is underway.
India has invited the NSAs of Russia, Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. China and Pakistan have however said that they will not be attending the meet. China had cited re-scheduling issues, while Pakistan had referred to India as a spoiler.
The meeting is however of utmost importance given the manner in which things have unfolded since the Taliban took over.
While referring to India as a spoiler, Pakistan's National Security Advisor, Moeed Yusuf said that his country would not take part in it. On the other hand, there is no word from China which has been engaging with the Taliban both directly as well as through Islamabad.
The conference would see Russia's participation in it. Further representatives from Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan will also attend the conference to be held on Wednesday.
The situation in Afghanistan has gone from bad to worse since the US troops left and the Taliban took over. While women and child rights have taken a severe beating, there is also this added worry of a steady rise of the Islamic State Khorasan Province. It has since August 15, the day the Taliban took over undertaken a series of deadly blasts targeting specifically Shias and non-Sunni minorities in the country.
The other problem that is gradually unfolding in Afghanistan is the revival of the Al-Qaeda. While the US has made it clear that the Taliban should not support the Al-Qaeda or the ISKP, officials tell OneIndia that there is very little that would be done about it in Kabul.
During the meeting, Russia would raise concerns about the security threat to the Central Asian Republics, Iran would voice concerns about the the persecution of the Shias and also the rising interference by Pakistan in the affairs of Afghanistan.
For India the biggest concerns would be about the stability in the region. The increased radicalisation following the Taliban take over is also a huge matter of concern for India. Further India has also witnessed the problem of scores of Muslim youth from Kerala leaving for Afghanistan to fight alongside the Islamic State.
The official cited above says that while the meddling by the ISI in Kabul is a matter of concern, the other big issue is the stability of the country. There have been intelligence reports clearly suggesting that the ISI would use Afghanistan as a launch pad for many of its terrorists and there is very little that the Taliban would do about it.