Central Asian Nations Highlight terrorism, humanitarian assistance as major concerns in Afghanistan

Guess what? The security situation in Afghanistan, terrorism emanating from that country and the scourge in general, countering the threat of radicalisation, and improving connectivity with Central Asian states topped the agenda of the inaugural meeting between national security adviser Ajit Doval and his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Let’s deep dive into the developments:

  • India’s National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval in a conference termed the existence of terrorist networks in Afghanistan as a matter of concern.
  • While the Kazakh, Kirghiz, Tajik, and the Uzbek NSAs were present, the Turkmen ambassador to India was present as the country’s NSA representative.
  • The NSAs dwelled on the reality of the deteriorating security situation in central Asia after the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.
  • Afghanistan currently has areas which are platforms for terrorists of diverse groups: whether they are targeting India or the central Asian countries, they have the same sources of training, finance, and infrastructure.
  • The meeting is one of the key outcomes of the India-Central Asia virtual summit that took place in January and envisages meetings at foreign and defense ministers’ level as well.
  • Doval underlined the need to prioritise combating terror financing and said that terrorism survived because of financing. He said that the members of the UN should refrain from providing assistance to institutions involved in the terrorist activities.
  • According to information, Doval was likely to hold separate bilateral meetings with his counterparts amid growing concerns over the security situation in Afghanistan.
  • Improving connectivity with the Central Asian countries, including the importance of Iran’s Chabahar port, was also discussed. Integrating Chabahar will the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC, a 7,200km multimode route spanning 13 countries) and other alternatives for improving connectivity with Central Asia had been discussed.
  • Chabahar port, where an Indian state-run firm operates a terminal, is a key part of India’s plans to enhance connectivity to Afghanistan and the Central Asian states. New Delhi has previously held similar high-level meetings with Central Asian countries on the situation in Afghanistan.
  • This comes after U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West, who traveled to Delhi, said he had discussed Afghanistan with India’s deputy national security adviser and some other officials about the two countries’ shared interests.
  • He also announced a meeting with Abdullah Abdullah, former chairman of the former Afghan government’s National Reconciliation Council, about the urgent need for “national dialogue on the political situation among Afghans.”
  • The U.S. envoy posted on Twitter that the international community agrees that this should be led and managed by Afghans.
  • India’s support for Afghanistan – at a time when the neighboring country is struggling with multiple civic and economic concerns under the Taliban rule – has drawn praise from an envoy from the United States.
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