India to host in-person NSA meet on Afghanistan, Pakistan's Moeed Yusuf invited

WION Web Team
New DelhiWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Oct 16, 2021, 08:54 PM IST

Photograph:(WION Web Team)

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Two dates have been proposed for the in-person meet—10th and 11th November—for the meeting in Delhi

India has proposed to host an in-person meet of the National Security Advisors (NSA) on Afghanistan in Delhi in November. Many countries in the region and key stakeholders like Russia and Pakistan have been invited.

The meet was to take place earlier this year, but it could not materialise. 

Pakistani sources confirmed that Pakistan's National security advisor Moeed Yusuf received the invitation last week.

If his attendance is confirmed, then this will be Pakistan NSA Yusuf's first official visit to Delhi. Both Indian NSA Doval and Pakistani NSA Yusuf were in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, earlier this year for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) NSA meet, but no bilateral meeting took place.

Two dates have been proposed for the in-person meet—10th and 11th November—for the meeting in Delhi. 

The proposal to host the meeting comes even as the situation in Afghanistan remains precarious and with the onset of winters, worries have mounted over the deterioration of the humanitarian situation. 

Last week marked two months since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban militants. The Taliban leadership have visited Qatar, Turkey and Uzbekistan hoping to get recognition and legitimacy for the newly formed government, but so far, no such indication has been given by the global community.

In the following week, Russia will be hosting Moscow format of talks involving Taliban, Pakistan, China and India.

In response to a WION question on Thursday, MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi confirmed India’s presence at the Moscow talks.

“We have received an invitation for the Moscow format meeting on Afghanistan on October 20. We will be participating in it. I don’t have final confirmation of who will be attending, but it’s likely that we will be attended at the Joint Secretary level.” 

This will be the second time that India will be publicly seen sitting with the Taliban. On August 31, Indian envoy to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, and Taliban's Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai had met at the Indian embassy in Doha.

The Indian ministry of external affairs confirming the meet said that it happened “on the request of the Taliban side”.

During the meet, India discussed issues like the safe return of Indian nationals from Afghanistan, concerns over use of Afghan soil for anti-India activities.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also raised the Afghanistan situation at the special SCO meet and during his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September and also at the G20 virtual meet hosted by Italy this month.

At the SCO CSTO outreach summit, PM highlighted that “transition of power in Afghanistan is not inclusive, and it has happened without negotiation”, essentially listing out New Delhi's red lines.

At the G20 virtual meet on Afghanistan, he emphasized the need for the international community to ensure that Afghanistan has “immediate and unhindered access” to humanitarian assistance.