Meeting for the first time since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, security czars of India, Russia, Iran, and the five Central Asian countries today called for an ”open and truly inclusive” government in the troubled nation while emphasizing that Afghan territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts.
At the 3rd ”Regional Security Dialogue” on Afghanistan hosted by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, the eight nations reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while underlining the respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs.
Pakistan and China stayed away from the meeting which was attended by the NSAs/ Secretaries of the National Security Councils of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The visiting security czars also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the “Delhi Declaration” issued at the end of the day-long meeting, the participants discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan, especially the security situation and its regional and global ramifications. They paid special attention to the current political situation in Afghanistan and threats arising from terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking as well as the need for humanitarian assistance.
The eight countries expressed deep concern over the suffering of the people of Afghanistan arising from the security situation and condemned the terrorist attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar and Kabul. They 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 radicalisation, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism.
They called for a collective cooperation against the menace of radicalisation, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region.
They Stressed the necessity of forming an open and truly inclusive government that represented the will of all the people of Afghanistan and had representation from all sections of their society, including major ethno-political forces in the country. Inclusion of all sections of the society in the administrative and political structure was imperative for the successful national reconciliation process in the country, the declaration said.
Recalling the relevant UN Resolutions on Afghanistan, the participants 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 emphasised the importance of ensuring that the fundamental rights of women, children and minority communities are not violated. They also expressed concern over the deteriorating socio-economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and underlined the need to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
The eight nations reiterated that humanitarian assistance should be provided in an unimpeded, direct and assured manner to Afghanistan and that the assistance was distributed within the country in a non-discriminatory manner across all sections of the Afghan society.
They reiterated their commitment to provide assistance to Afghanistan to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The eight nations reiterated the importance of their dialogue and agreed to remain engaged with each other in the future. They agreed to hold the next round in 2022.