"India was and is an important stakeholder in Afghanistan," National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval said on Friday, 27 May, while addressing the 4th Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan.
Speaking at the event, which was held in Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe, he also said that India has historical and civilisational relations with Afghanistan and that New Delhi has always stood by the people of the war-torn country, which has been witnessing a humanitarian crisis ever since the Taliban captured it on 15 August last year.
"The special relationship with the people of Afghanistan over centuries will guide India's approach. Nothing can change this," Doval said, as per news agency PTI.
'There Is a Need to Enhance Capability of Afghanistan to Counter Terrorism'
National Security Advisers from Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, China, and Kyrgyzstan also attended the meet, that was aimed at stitching a common approach to tackle rising threats of drug trafficking, radicalisation, and terrorism, mushrooming in Afghanistan, after it was taken over by the Taliban.
The officials, who discussed the situation in Afghanistan collectively highlighted the need to find constructive ways to restore peace and stability in the nation.
"There is a need for all present at the dialogue to enhance the capability of Afghanistan so that it counters terrorism and terrorist groups, which pose a threat to the country's peace and security," Doval said.
Protecting the human rights of the Afghans, including the right to life and the right to dignified living, should be our topmost priority, he said, adding that, "Assistance should be accessible to all, respect for all obligations under international humanitarian law should be ensured."
The meet noted that India has been supporting Afghanistan for several decades. After the Taliban captured the country in August 2021, India has reportedly provided 17,000 million tonne (MT) of wheat out of a total commitment of 50, 000 MT, 60 million doses of polio vaccine, 13 tonnes of essential lifesaving medicines, winter clothing, and 50,00,00 doses of Covaxin.
Stating that it is important to protect the rights and represent all sections of the society, including women and minorities, Doval said, "Women and youth are critical for the future of any society. Provision of education to girls and employment to women and youth will ensure productivity and spur growth. It will also have a positive social impact including discouraging radical ideologies among youth," reported news agency PTI.
In November 2021, India had hosted the 3rd Regional Security Dialogue in Delhi.
(With inputs from PTI.)