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India, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan agree that Taliban must first form an inclusive government before seeking international legitimacy

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval with Uzbekistan's National Security Advisor Lt Gen Viktor Makhmudov

A day before a regional security summit on Afghanistan hosted by India, National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval met his Tajik and Uzbek counterparts on November 9 in New Delhi and had a detailed exchange of views on Afghanistan, with significant convergence of assessments.

Significantly, they agreed that the Taliban government must first seek recognition from Loya Jirga (tribal council) and the religious council in Afghanistan before asking for international recognition. 

In defining a two-stage process, New Delhi, Tashkent and Dushanbe were on the same page that “the future of Afghanistan must be decided by the people of Afghanistan themselves,” a source said.

They also expressed concerns regarding the sharp rise in terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the war-torn country in mid-August.


While the three top security advisers shared the view that the legitimacy of any Afghan government within Afghanistan was “important before the issue of its international recognition,” their other major concern was the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“The Taliban must have the trust of the people of Afghanistan including Shia Hazaras, Uzbeks, Tajiks, and most importantly the women of the country,” was the main concern during these meetings. They recognised the Taliban as the main contender but they must get recognition from Afghans. 


Tajikistan, which has been witnessing the influx of refugees and officials in the previous Afghan government, highlighted the gravity of the situation in Afghanistan.

They discussed the role played by Pakistan and emphasized the need for Afghanistan’s neighbours to ensure unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. In an obvious reference to Pakistan, they also agreed that neighbouring states must play a constructive role in Afghanistan.

India is hosting the ‘Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan’ on November 10-11, led by NSA Ajit Doval. This is the first time that all Central Asian countries, and not just Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours, would be participating in this format.

India had formally invited the NSAs of Russia, Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan for the meeting. However, China and Pakistan decided to skip the conference. No delegation from Afghanistan has been invited.


“Pakistan’s decision is not surprising. The world knows the dangerous game Pakistan is playing in Afghanistan,” said the source. 

Instead, Pakistan hurriedly decided to host the Troika Plus meeting on November 11, a day after the Delhi conference where special Representatives for Afghanistan from the United States, China, Russia will be meeting and the interim foreign minister of Taliban regime Amir Khan Muttaqi will be taking part. 

Also Read: Top security bosses of Central Asia converge in Delhi to take stock of situation in Afghanistan