Ajit Doval meets Russia's Patrushev to discuss situation in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan
National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on Wednesday met Russia's secretary of the country's security council General Nikolai Patrushev for high-level India-Russia inter-governmental consultations on the situation in Afghanistan. The discussions come hours after the Taliban announced their new interim government in the war-torn nation, revealing an all-male cabinet that includes several individuals sanctioned by the United States and the United Nations, along with an FBI ‘most wanted’ terrorist as a top minister. In light of these developments, Patrushev's visit to India and the subsequent meetings with NSA Ajit Doval assumes special significance for both New Delhi and Moscow in connection with the response to the Taliban takeover.
After meeting Doval, the Russian security chief is also expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar. The officials are to discuss the political, security, and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
The high-level India-Russia inter-governmental consultations on Afghanistan led by the two national security advisers include representatives of the Union ministry of external affairs, the ministry of defence, and security agencies. The consultations, which are currently underway, are likely to reflect on the developing situation in Afghanistan created by the withdrawal of US forces. Both Russia and India share similar concerns on terrorism, especially to ensure that the Taliban adhere to their promises and assurances.
The security chiefs are expected to discuss activities of terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, threats from drugs, the role of regional countries and details of Indo-Russia cooperation to meet current and future threats and measures to assist Afghanistan, said those privy to the matter.
General Nikolay Patrushev is understood to be the ‘right-hand man’ of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and in meeting him today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be getting a better cognisance of Moscow's position on Kabul.
Earlier, India put across its point of view on the impact of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to the visiting security heads of Britain and the United States – MI-6 chief Richard Moore and CIA chief William Burns – respectively.
The political situation in Afghanistan has taken a turn for the worse with US-designated terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani in charge of interior ministry and intelligence, while Mullah Yaqoob, son of Mullah Omar, the defence minister. The United States said late on Tuesday that it is concerned about the "affiliations and track records" of some of the people named by the Taliban to fill top posts in Afghanistan's new government.