The Indian National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval met his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, to discuss about Afghanistan (Pic: Courtesy Twitter/ @MEAIndia)
After External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar laid out the principles of India’s approach towards its political transition, it was National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval’s turn to engage with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, to seek common ground between New Delhi and Moscow, on Afghanistan.
Patrushev and Doval discussed in detail "further plans of the Russia-India interaction in the security sphere, cooperation among the security and law-enforcement agencies," the press office of the Russian national security council said. The Russian statement also affirmed that the situation in Afghanistan and the Asia-Pacific region was also discussed between the two security czars. The two security supremos met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, ahead of a security conference of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Formed to steer Eurasia, and with a Central Asian core, the SCO includes four nuclear weapon powers—India, China, Russia and Pakistan in its ranks.
“The important development is a new security situation that is unfolding in Afghanistan in the light of US withdrawal from Afghanistan and new expectations from regional countries, “says Meena Singh Roy a West Asia and Central Asia expert with the Tillotoma foundation
During his address at the SCO summit, NSA Doval proposed an action plan against Pakistan-based terror groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) within the SCO) framework, the Hindustan Times is reporting. He said this during the meeting of national security chiefs in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe.
Strongly condemning terrorism in all forms and manifestations, the NSA emphasised on the need for full implementation of United Nations resolutions and targeted sanctions against UN-designated terrorist individuals and entities. Doval said that perpetrators of terrorism including cross-border terror attacks should be expeditiously brought to justice.
“The SCO is an alternative regional platform where centrifugal forces arising from religious extremism and terrorism in the region which threaten India’s security and development can be discussed. India has shown keen interest in deepening its security cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS),” observes Ms. Roy.
In his address the NSA spotlighted the need to preserve gains made in the last two decades in Afghanistan and the need for giving top priority to the welfare of the Afghan people. "India fully supports SCO Contact Group on Afghanistan, which should be more active," said Doval.
Doval also stressed India’s deep cultural links, providing a foundational layer to India’s relationship with the region. "Though India became an SCO Member in 2017, it has had physical, spiritual, cultural and philosophical inter-linkages for centuries with countries that now make up SCO,"he observed.
Doval’s meeting follows Jaishankar’s address on Tuesday to the UN Security Council on Afghanistan. The External Affairs Minister had nailed the urgency for a holistic international approach to end conflict by focusing on the umbilical link between terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Jaishankar during his address went for the jugular when he stressed that the supply chains of terrorism which end up in Afghanistan must be disrupted, for fostering “enduring” peace. "For enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted. There needs to be zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations including its cross-border one," he said in a veiled reference to Pakistan. Jaishankar nailed the urgency for a holistic international approach to end conflict by focusing on the umbilical link between terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan.