Maiden India-Central Asia NSA meet seeks joint action against terrorism, warns Afghan soil maybe used to spread terror

The meeting of NSAs helmed by India comes at a time when India and Central Asian countries are marking the 30th anniversary of diplomatic and bilateral relations in trade, economy, security and defence

The National Security Advisers of India and other Central Asian countries on Tuesday urged for collective action against terrorism, terror-financing and underscored that countries like Afghanistan should not be used for harbouring or training terrorists.

India’s NSA Ajit Doval who hosted the meeting also outlined the importance and relevance of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2593, which aims to ensure that the Taliban-led Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for terrorists and a breeding ground for terrorism potentially damaging for other nations, including India. The UNSC Resolution 2593 was adopted in August 2021 after the Taliban swept into power in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn region.

In a joint communique issued by the first India-Central Asia meeting of National Security Advisers/Secretaries of Security Councils, the top administrative officials condemned all forms and manifestations of terrorism and stressed the need for all nations to work together to fight the menace of terrorism.

“The misuse of new and emerging technologies, arms and drugs trafficking, using terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism, abuse of cyber space to spread disinformation and unmanned aerial systems present new challenges in counterterrorism efforts and call for collective action,” the joint communique read.

It also made a veiled reference to Pakistan’s role in providing shelter to terrorists who often plan attacks on other regional countries, by mentioning the fallout of cross-border terrorism. The meeting sought an early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to effectively deal with the menace of terrorism in Asia and beyond.

NSA Doval described Central Asia as “the extended neighbourhood of India” and said the region figured among one of the “highest priorities” of the Indian government. India, has been among the frontrunners in providing humanitarian assistance to crisis-ridden Afghanistan over the past year, supplying not only huge truckloads of wheat and food items, but also crucial medicines for Kabul’s Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital. At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, India stepped up to provide Covid-19 vaccines for the people of Afghanistan to tackle the global health crisis.

The meeting of the security top brass of Central Asian countries also acknowledged the need to keep in mind Afghanistan’s sovereignty and respect for its territorial integrity despite strong apprehensions of terrorism emanating from its soil.

The meeting of NSAs helmed by India comes at a time when India and Central Asian countries are marking the 30th anniversary of diplomatic and bilateral relations in trade, economy, security and defence.

The meeting is the first one of NSA’s of Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan while Turkmenistan is being represented at the meet by its ambassador to India.

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