India hosted the third edition of Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan

India has slammed Pakistan for skipping the Delhi Security Dialogue hosted by New Delhi, stating that Islamabad’s not coming for such an important meeting is reflective of its attitude on issues concerning Afghanistan.

“The invitation was issued, I would say that if they do not come to such an important meeting, then you can know from this what kind of attitude they have on the issue of Afghanistan. That's all I want to say,” Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said during a weekly briefing on Thursday.

On Wednesday, India hosted the Delhi Security Dialogue on Afghanistan which saw representations from eight nations such as India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Pakistan and China had refused to participate in the Dialogue.

Speaking about China’s absence, the MEA Spokesperson said, “We also issued an invitation to China. Like you said that due to scheduling, they were saying that they could not come. Now where else do they go and what they do, I would not like to comment on that.”

“As you know there was recently a NSA Level Meeting here in India. The Secretaries of the security councils or National Security Advisors of seven countries had come here. The discussions that took place were very good,” he informed.

“Many people agreed on many issues and due to that consensus, we had an advantage that we were able to move this Delhi declaration. You must have seen it, that we have made it public what many people have said in it,” Bagchi stated.

“The discussions included that there should be no terrorism from Afghanistan, on the issue of terrorism and how can we bring inclusive governance system there or what are the humanitarian needs in that country, what they need,” he informed.

“It was also decided that if we continue to discuss all these important issues in such a format, in which it was clearly stated that so many countries believe that it was important that they should come here and participate in these discussions,” he noted.

“Being part of this is important for them and coming to our country and India’s presence is important for them in such discussions, in such meetings.” the MEA Spokesperson mentioned.

Responding to a question regarding steps on humanitarian support, he reiterated what actually came up in the discussions and also, what have we have put out, India's support to the people of Afghanistan is very clear. It is a people led interaction and our involvement with that country, Bagchi added.

“We have been extending support over many years for the people of Afghanistan. I don't need to reiterate that today. Situation on the ground has become very difficult over the last few months since the transition there,” he observed.

And accordingly, I think we have been participating in meetings where this issue of how to address impending humanitarian concerns, the MEA Spokesperson said.

Noting that at the NSA meeting also the very serious humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was discussed at length, and one of the key elements which we have seen in previous meetings was the need for unimpeded, unhindered access for aid or humanitarian assistance providers, he maintained.

“And I think that is a key element of anything that we would be in a position to extend assistance. As you know, we have been looking at the possibilities, but there have been difficulties due to lack of unimpeded access,” he said.

Meanwhile, the MEA Spokesperson also confirmed that India participated in the Troika Plus meeting on Afghanistan hosted by Pakistan that saw participation of special envoys from China, Russia and the US, discussing issues like humanitarian crisis and the future path of the war-torn country.

“We participated in that meeting and two of our diplomats went there. The conversation took place but apart from what was said there, I have nothing to add for now,” he said.

Responding to a query about how India sees the current ruling dispensation in Afghanistan or regime, Bagchi said, “We have been guided, as most of the countries around the world have been guided by UN Security Council resolution 2593 and I think that's where I would leave it as you have no opposition on that.”

“And I don't think this issue of characterising or putting a nomenclature on that is the important part. What is the important part is ensuring that the aspiration, the expectations of the international community as outlined in resolution 2593, that is what the important part,” he argued.