On Wednesday, India hosted a high-level security dialogue on Afghanistan, which neither China nor Pakistan attended, and the country concerned was absent.

Seven countries attended the dialogue in New Delhi: Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

The participating countries stressed the need to form an “open and inclusive government that truly represents the will of all the people” in Afghanistan.

After the meeting, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs issued a 12-point “Delhi Declaration on Afghanistan”.

The ministry said in a statement: “The participants discussed the developments of the situation in Afghanistan, especially the security situation and its regional and global repercussions; they paid special attention to the current political situation in Afghanistan and the threats arising from terrorism, extremism, and drug smuggling, as well as the need for humanitarian assistance.”

During the meeting, the participants reiterated their “strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, with an emphasis on respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs.”

The countries expressed their deep concern over the suffering of the Afghan people as a result of the security situation in the country and condemned the terrorist attacks in Kunduz, Kandahar, and Kabul.

The statement added that Afghan territory should “not be used to harbor, train, plan or finance any terrorist acts.”

He stressed that the United Nations has a central role to play in Afghanistan and that it must maintain its continued presence in the country.

He also stressed the “importance of ensuring that the fundamental rights of women, children, and minority communities are not violated.”

The countries participating in the meeting expressed their concern over the deteriorating social, economic and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and stressed “the need to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.”

“Humanitarian assistance should be provided in a direct, assured, and unhindered manner to Afghanistan, and aid should be distributed within the country in a non-discriminatory manner across all segments of Afghan society,” the statement said.

Countries renewed their commitment to providing assistance to Afghanistan to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

India sent invitations to China and Pakistan for dialogue, but there was no representation from them, and there was no representative from Afghanistan.

Speaking to media, Rajiv Bhatia, the former Indian ambassador, said that no Afghan representative was invited because “India does not recognize the current Taliban government in Afghanistan.”

He continued, “However, the conference was being held on Afghanistan because of the regional dimensions that are very important to what the new government represents.”

On August 15, the “Taliban” took control of almost all of Afghanistan, paralleling a final stage of a US military withdrawal that was completed at the end of the same month.

© The Eastern Herald