ndia will host the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10.
The meeting as per The Tribune will be at the National Security Adviser (NSA) level. NSA Ajit Doval will chair the meeting.
Two earlier meetings in this format have been held in Iran in September 2018 and December 2019. The third meeting in India could not be held earlier due to the pandemic.
There has been an overwhelming response to India’s invitation. Central Asian countries as well as Russia and Iran have confirmed participation, Tribune quoted sources as saying.
This is the first time that all Central Asian countries, not just Afghanistan’s immediate land neighbours, are participating in this format.
The enthusiastic response is a manifestation of the importance attached to India’s role in regional efforts to promote peace and security in Afghanistan, claimed the sources while terming Pakistan’s abstention as unfortunate.
Invitations have been extended to China, too, and formal responses are awaited. The sources said they have learnt of Pakistan’s unwillingness to attend.
“Pakistan’s decision is unfortunate, but not surprising. It reflects its mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate. Pakistan has not attended the previous meetings of this format. Its media comments against India are an unsuccessful attempt to deflect attention from its pernicious role in Afghanistan,” the newspaper quoted sources as saying.
The high-level participation in next week’s meeting hosted by India reflects the widespread and growing concern of regional countries about the situation in Afghanistan and their desire to consult and coordinate with each other. India has an important role to play in this process, they asserted.