Delhi Dialogue: 8 nations commit to combat terrorism in Afghanistan, ensure it is not a safe haven for global terrorism.
Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Emphasising that Afghanistan’s territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts, the National Security Advisers / Secretaries of the National Security Councils from eight countries declared jointly on Wednesday after a regional security summit hosted by India.
The Heads of the National Security Councils of seven nations, who are in Delhi for the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan hosted today by National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval, collectively called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi after the completion of the Dialogue.
The joint statement – the Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan – said the eight participating nations discussed the evolving Afghan situation, especially the global ramifications post the Taliban’s takeover in August.
While the eight officials from India, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan paid special attention to the current political situation in Afghanistan and threats arising from terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking, they also emphasised on the need for humanitarian assistance.
The senior security functionaries condemned in the strongest terms all terrorist activities and reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan. They “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 jointly called for a collective cooperation against the menace of radicalization, extremism, separatism and drug trafficking in the region.
The participants thanked the Republic of India for holding the Third Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan in New Delhi. The participants agreed to hold the next round in 2022.
The Delhi Declaration also said it was critical to form “an open and truly inclusive government that represents the will of all of the people of Afghanistan and has representation from all sections of their society”.
The eight security advisors, also emphasised the “importance of ensuring the fundamental rights of women” as well as that of children and minority communities.
Further, the joint declaration also underscored the need to help Afghanistan contain COVID-19.
Earlier during the day, India’s NSA, Ajit Doval, called for close consultations and greater cooperation and coordination among nations of the region on the Afghan situation.
“These have important implications not only for the people of Afghanistan but also for its neighbours and the region,” Mr Doval said in his opening remarks, adding, “I am confident our deliberations will be productive, useful and will contribute to help the people in Afghanistan.”
This is for the first time all central Asian countries – Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan – and not just Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, are participating in this dialogue.
China and Pakistan were also invited to attend. While China declined the invitation due to “scheduling reasons” with Wang Wenbin, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, saying, “We have already given our reply to the Indian side,”
Pakistan’s NSA Moeed Yusuf did not attend and while speaking to Reuters had accused India of being a ‘spoiler’ in the region.
Post the dialogue the Heads of the National Security Councils of seven nations collectively called on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi after the completion of the Dialogue.
In their comments to the Prime Minister, the senior security officers, representing the nations of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, expressed their appreciation of India’s initiative in organising the Dialogue and of the quality of the exchanges. They also conveyed the perspectives of their respective countries on the Afghan situation.
The Prime Minister appreciated the participation of the senior dignitaries in the Delhi Security Dialogue despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
He emphasised four aspects that countries in the region would need to focus on, in the context of Afghanistan: the need for an inclusive government; a zero-tolerance stance about Afghan territory being used by terrorist groups; a strategy to counter trafficking of drugs and arms from Afghanistan; and addressing the increasingly critical humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
The Prime Minister also expressed the hope that the Regional Security Dialogue would work to revive Central Asia’s traditions of moderation and progressive culture, and counter extremist tendencies.