AKIPRESS.COM - India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, while taking part in the 4th Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan in Dushanbe on Friday, highlighted that India was and is an important stakeholder in Afghanistan and asserted that "nothing can change this. Special relationship with the people of Afghanistan over centuries will guide India's approach, he added, Business Standard reported.
Secretaries of Security Councils of China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, took part in the 4th Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan in Dushanbe, hosted by Tajikistan.
Taking forward the spirit encapsulated in the Delhi Declaration during the 3rd Regional Security Dialogue, the secretaries of security councils discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the region. They highlighted the need to find constructive ways to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and combat risks from terrorism emanating from the region.
The meeting focused on the formation of an inclusive government to represent all sections of the society and it discussed international cooperation for providing humanitarian aid to the Afghan people.
The issues of security, economics and politics as well as terrorism and smuggling in Afghanistan were the main parts of the discussion. The Dialogue highlighted the need to find ways to ensure peace, security and stability in Afghanistan and to combat terrorism.
Doval took the opportunity to meet his counterparts from Russia, Iran and other Central Asian partners in the Dialogue on the sidelines of the meeting. Doval told his counterparts that the people of Afghanistan have a special place.
NSA Doval highlighted the need for representation of all sections of Afghan society including women and minorities so that the collective energies of the largest possible proportion of the Afghan population feel motivated to contribute to nation-building.
NSA Doval also reiterated India's position on the distribution of aid to all sections of society. He highlighted, "Assistance should be accessible to all, respect for all obligations under international humanitarian law should be ensured.”
Emphasizing on the rights of women at the meet, Doval said, "Women and youth are critical for the future of any society. Provision of education to girls and employment to women and youth will ensure productivity and spur growth. It will also have a positive social impact including discouraging radical ideologies among youth.”
India has focused on infrastructure, connectivity and humanitarian assistance over the decades. After August 2021, India has already provided Afghanistan with 17000 metric tons of Wheat out of a total commitment of 50000 metric tons, 500000 doses of Covaxin, 13 tons of essential life-saving medicines and winter clothing as well as 60 million doses of polio vaccine.
In November 2021, India hosted the third Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic of Iran hosted the dialogue's first two editions in 2018 and 2019.
Meanwhile, US special representative for Afghanistan Thomas West made an un-announced visit to India on May 25 to meet Indian officials, during which both sides reviewed the overall situation in the war-torn country including the humanitarian crisis.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, West complimented India for providing critical humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and said Washington will continue to partner with New Delhi and others in the region to advance "shared goals”.
"India is providing critical humanitarian aid, has interests to protect, brings enormous capability and experience to supporting Afghan people. We will continue to partner with India and others in the region to advance shared goals," he added.