Taliban fighters on a street in Kabul (AFP)
New Delhi: China and Pakistan will be absent if the national security chiefs of seven regional countries gather here on Wednesday for a security dialogue in Afghanistan.
The day-long event, the first hosted by India, will focus on terrorism and related security challenges and the uncertainty arising from Afghanistan that was occupied by the Taliban in August.
Pakistan did not agree to come because of India. China, however, has made its response worthwhile. Citing inability to attend due to “scheduling problems”, Beijing has said it wants to involve India bilaterally in Afghanistan. The Indian government has refrained from combining the two rejections, although sources said China’s response could be due to its sensitivity to Pakistan. “We were interested in China’s participation,” the source said.
The meeting will focus on terrorism inside Afghanistan and across the border: the rise of extremism and extremism that could spread from Afghanistan to the Taliban and Haqqani network or IS, or the power of demonstrations just to influence the population. Participating countries.
The cross-border movement is another area of concern. The threat posed by the military equipment and weapons left by US troops in Afghanistan is a new challenge facing the region. It is feared that these could be used for terrorism or organized crime networks in the region.
Sources said the dialogue was not new. The first of these was held in India, Russia, Afghanistan, China and Iran – 2018 in Iran. Pakistan was invited, but refused to join. In 2019 Iran held the second. No invitations were sent to Afghanistan – not to the Taliban or even the previous government. “None of the participating countries raised the issue of inviting the Taliban,” the source said.
Indian planners believe the biggest “present” from the meeting will be a general understanding of the threat posed by Afghanistan’s uncertainty. “We believe there is a high level of similarity between them and our sense of threat,” the source said. The dialogue is unlikely to lead to a new security architecture, but the Indian side hopes it can evolve into one.