New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval organised the crucial 'Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan' on Wednesday with his counterparts from Russia, Iran, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in the national capital. China and Pakistan were also invited to the crucial meet, but the two declined to attend it. While China refused to attend the meet due to 'scheduling' issues, Pakistan NSA blamed India for the 'instability' in the region and said that a "spoiler cannot try to become a peacemaker".

India, however, has said that Pakistan's decision is not "surprising", but called it "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," government sources were quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, Doval is expected to discuss the situation in Afghanistan in detail with his counterparts. Since the Taliban took control of Kabul, New Delhi has expressed concerns over the situation there and stressed that the Afghan soil must not be used for terror activities against any other country amid fears that Pakistan might use it as an opportunity to intensify its proxy war against India.

India is also concerned over the rights of minorities and women in Afghanistan, besides the rise in "extremism and radicalisation" in the war-ravaged country. It should be noted that India has invested heavily in Afghanistan over the past two decades, but the rise of the Taliban might affect New Delhi's position as China and Pakistan might eye a bigger role there.

"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 fulfill our duties by providing them with help," Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in the 76th UNGA Session in New York earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Doval on Tuesday held separate meetings with his counterparts from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - Rahmatjon Mahmudzoda and Victor Makhmudov - over the Afghanistan issue. Sources, quoted by news agency PTI, said that both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan expressed concerns over the situation in Afghanistan and the looming humanitarian crisis there.

"They felt that the legitimacy of any Afghan government within Afghanistan was important before the issue of its international recognition," a government source told PTI over Doval's meeting with his counterparts from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma