New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval will hold the high-level NSA-level meeting on November 10 with a focus on Afghanistan, two months after the Taliban took control of the capital city of Kabul. The meeting, which will be organised in New Delhi, will be attended by Russia, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Invitations have also been sent to Pakistan and China.

Pakistan's NSA Moeed Yusuf has outrightly refused to attend the meeting, saying "a spoiler cannot try to become a peacemaker". "I think the region’s obstacles are in front of you, there is no need for a debate on this. On the one hand is India… unfortunately (because of) the government’s behaviour and ideology there, I don’t see how this (peace) process will move forward — not just for Pakistan but the region," he said.

India has called Pakistan's decision is "unfortunate", saying it reflects Islamabad's "mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate". "Pakistan has not attended the previous meetings of this format. Its media comments against India are an unsuccessful attempt to deflect attention from its pernicious role in Afghanistan," news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.

Meanwhile, China has also declined to attend the meeting, citing scheduling issues but has conveyed that it is "open for dialogue with India on Afghanistan at multilateral and bilateral levels".

What is the agenda of the meeting?

India has been a key participant in issues involving Afghanistan and invested heavily in several projects there. However, India has expressed concerns over the security situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban's rise to power. Earlier in September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the 76th UNGA session, had called the situation in Afghanistan "critical" and said that it is important to ensure that the Afghan soil is not used to spread terrorism.

"We also need to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests. At this time, people of Afghanistan, women and children, minorities need help. We must fulfil our duties by providing them with help," PM Modi had said.

Experts suggest that India will discuss the threats "emanating" from Afghanistan and why "extremism and radicalisation" have become a key concern for its neighbours. Drug trafficking and the use of weapons left by NATO forces by terrorists can also be discussed during the high-level meet.

Experts also feel that the "uncertainty" of what will happen next in Afghanistan will also be discussed apart from a debate on the rights of minorities and women. "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," a government source while speaking to The Indian Express.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma