NEW DELHI: India and Australia on Saturday, September 11, 2021, and expressed concern over the situation in Afghanistan and hoped hope that its territory would not be used for terrorists’ activities and doesn’t become a safe haven for terrorists.
Speaking to the media after the first 2+2 dialogue between India’s external affairs minister S Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh with their Australian counterparts Marise Payne and Peter Dutton, Jaishankar said the two sides had a “very detailed exchange of views” and the India-Australian approach was very similar.
Stressing that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used in any manner by anybody for terrorism, Jaishankar said “it is an abiding concern of the international community.” “Apart from that, there were issues of concern about the inclusiveness of the dispensation, concerns about the treatment of women and minorities, matters related to travel, and Afghan’s issues regarding humanitarian assistance. It is an evolving situation,” he said.
On the question of China calling the Quad an “Asian NATO,” Jaishankar said China should not misrepresent reality. “The Quad is a platform for the benefit of the participating countries and of the world and terms like Nato are cold war terms and it is important that China does not misrepresent the reality.”
Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said, “Australia shares the same interests with India that Afghanistan should never again become a safe haven for terrorists.”
“Our constructive engagement in an informal diplomatic network is overwhelmingly about contributing positively for the open, inclusive and resilient region in which we all want to live,” Payne added. The two sides also discussed the problems faced by the Indian students in Australia and those students planning to go to Australia. Jaishankar urged Australia to sympathetically address their problems.