India for Regional Approach to Stabilize Afghanistan

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Amid reports of US-Taliban negotiations being relaunched, aIndia sought to push for a regional approach to stabilise Afghanistan and tackle counterterrorism in the region.

This comes as there were reports of Taliban returning to power in Afghanistan.

Deputy national security adviser (NSA) Rajinder Khanna participated in a meet of NSAs from Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan held in Tehran on December 18 as part of India’s efforts to strive for a regional approach to bring stability in the war-ravaged nation.

The core focus of the talks hosted by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council is how to restore durable security in Afghanistan, said people aware of the matter. This year’s meeting will also concentrate on the issue of a comprehensive campaign against foreign sponsored terrorism in Afghanistan, they said.

The participating officials will also hold bilateral talks among themselves on the sidelines of the meet, said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified. The first session of the Regional Security Dialogue in September 2018 was also held in Tehran.

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, which border Afghanistan and have huge stakes in the landlocked country, are new attendees for this year’s meeting.

Afghan officials are of opinion that Iran and India have capabilities to help stabilise the country and fight terrorism. India has been in touch with the participants of the dialogue bilaterally on the evolving situation in Afghanistan amid US plans to withdraw troops after a nearly two-decade-old campaign.

Meanwhile, India will host Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif in January as part of its strategy to engage with Iran notwithstanding sanctions slapped by the United States on the West Asian country.