External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi Photograph:( Agencies )
Briefing reporters, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi lamented about China and Pakistan’s lack of participation in the meet
India on Thursday slammed Pakistan for skipping the NSA-level summit to discuss on the Afghanistan situation which was hosted in New Delhi.
Briefing reporters, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi lamented about China and Pakistan’s lack of participation in the security dialogue.
“We had invited China for NSA talks, but due to scheduling, they couldn't come… Rest where they go and what do they do, I don’t want to talk about that. We had invited Pakistan too, but they didn’t come to such an important meeting. This shows their attitude towards the Afghanistan issue,” he said.
India’s categorical statement comes days after China and Pakistan refused to meet for the dialogue.
China had said that it won’t be attending the meeting due to “scheduling reasons”, while Pakistan outrightly declined to attend the meet.
Seven countries took part in the dialogue. They are: Iran, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Islamabad is currently hosting ‘Troika Plus’ meeting to discuss the Afghanistan issue, which is being attended by diplomats from Russia, China and US.
Talking about providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, Bagchi said that India was ready to provide any assistance, provided there is an “unimpeded access” to the country.
“India's support to the people of Afghanistan is very clear. We have been extending support over many years to all the people of Afghanistan. The situation on the ground has become very difficult over the last few months,” he said.
“Accordingly, we have been participating in meetings over this issue of how to address impending humanitarian concerns. In the NSA meeting, the very serious humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was discussed at length,” he added.
The official said that this issue was discussed during the NSA meet, where all other participants concurred that “unimpeded and unhindered” access was prerequisite for humanitarian assistance.
“One of the key elements which we've seen in previous meetings was the need for unimpeded, unhindered access for humanitarian assistance providers...There have been difficulties due to lack of unimpeded access,” Bagchi said.