India continues to be important stakeholder in Afghanistan: National Security Advisor Doval
"India’s special relationship with the people of Afghanistan over centuries will guide its approach, nothing can change this," Doval said during the fourth round of the Dushanbe Security Dialogue
NEW DELHI: India was and is an important stakeholder in Afghanistan, said National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval during the fourth round of the Dushanbe Security Dialogue on Afghanistan, held in Dushanbe.
India has called for enhancing the capability of the war-torn country to counter terrorist groups which pose a threat to regional peace and security.
"India’s special relationship with the people of Afghanistan over centuries will guide its approach, nothing can change this," Doval said. He met his counterparts from other participating countries on the sidelines of the meeting.
The meeting was attended by heads of the National Security Councils of Russia (Nikolai Patrushev), China (Cheng Guoping), Iran (Ali Shamkhani), Tajikstan (Nasrullo Mahmoudzoda), Kazakhstan (Aset Isekhev), Uzbekistan (Viktor Mahmoudov) and Kyrgysztan (Marat Imonkulov).
"The foremost priority should be the right to life and a dignified living as well and protection of human rights in Afghanistan. Assistance should be accessible to all and respect for all obligations under the international humanitarian law should be ensured," Doval added.
Pakistan wasn’t present in the forum, as the newly elected government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif hasn’t appointed a national security advisor yet.
India has supported Afghanistan in developing infrastructure which has improved connectivity and also in humanitarian assistance over the years. Since August 2021, India has provided 17000 MT of wheat out of a commitment of 50,000 MT and also 5000000 doses of Covaxin, 13 tonnes of life saving medicines, 60 million doses of polio vaccine and winter clothing.
India also threw light on the significance of including women and minorities in nation building.
"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," Doval said.
Meanwhile, security heads from other participating nations emphasised the need to find constructive ways to ensure peace and stability.
The dialogue is aimed at firming up a common approach for practical cooperation in confronting increasing threats of terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul last August. India had hosted the dialogue on November 10, 2021 in New Delhi which was attended by eight nations including Iran and Russia (China and Pakistan didn’t attend). The first two dialogues took place in Tehran.
A Delhi Declaration was adopted in the third round of talks which spoke about the restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan. The present round was a continuation of those deliberations.