Foreign Policy Watch: India-Afghanistan

Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: India's quest for Afghan Peace

India is hosting the National Security Advisors (NSAs) level ‘Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan’ this week.

About the dialogue

  • It will be headed by NSA Ajit Doval.
  • It aims to organise a conference of regional stakeholders and important powers on the country’s current situation and the future outlook.
  • Invitations are sent to Afghanistan’s neighbours such as Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and other key players including Russia, and China.

Pakistan’s response

  • Not surprisingly, Pakistan has denounced India’s invitation. China too followed Pakistan’s footsteps.
  • Had Pakistan consented to come, it would have been the first high-level visit to India from Pakistan since 2016.
  • Pakistani position reflects its mindset on Afghanistan, where it has played a conspiring role.
  • It reflects its mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate.

Response from the other countries

  • India’s invitation has seen an overwhelming response.
  • Central Asian countries as well as Russia and Iran have confirmed participation.

Significance of the dialogue

  • This will be the first time that all Central Asian countries, and not just Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, would be participating in this format.
  • The enthusiastic response is a manifestation of the importance attached to India’s role in regional efforts to promote peace and security in Afghanistan.
  • If peace is established in Afghanistan, it could become a major trading hub as a corridor of connectivity in the heart of Asia.

When you are not at the table, you are on the menu… this conference is India’s attempt to set the table, be on the table, and decide the agenda.

India’s motive for the conference

  • This is India’s attempt to secure for itself a seat at the table to decide the future course of action on Afghanistan.
  • It underlines the need to actively engage with the world to protect India’s security interests.
  • Until the fall of Kabul, India had not engaged with the Taliban through publicly-announced official channels.

India’s expectations form Taliban Govt

  • Taliban should not allow safe havens for terror on its soil.
  • The administration should be inclusive, and the rights of minorities, women, and children must be protected.


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