Pakistan NSA says won’t attend meet on Afghanistan convened by India

Updated on Nov 02, 2021 10:45 PM IST
Besides China and Pakistan, regional countries such as Iran, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been invited to the meeting
File photo: Pakistan’s national security advisor Moeed Yusuf. (@YusufMoeed/Twitter)
File photo: Pakistan’s national security advisor Moeed Yusuf. (@YusufMoeed/Twitter)

Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said on Tuesday that he will not attend a meeting of senior regional security officials being hosted by India to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

Besides China and Pakistan, regional countries such as Iran, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been invited to the meeting which is expected to be held in New Delhi on November 10. There are no plans to invite the Taliban to the meeting in line with the Indian government’s decision not to rush into recognising the current dispensation in Kabul.

“I will not be going,” Yusuf told a news briefing in Islamabad after a meeting with his Uzbekistan counterpart Victor Makhmudov. He was responding to a question from a reporter on whether he would attend the meeting in India.

“A spoiler cannot try to be a peacemaker,” he added, in an apparent reference to India.

In response to another question, Yusuf said Pakistan has identified India as a hurdle to regional efforts to establish peace and security.

“Pakistan has said repeatedly that if India is prepared to move forward, then we will also be ready. But there are some prerequisites and an enabling environment for moving forward,” he said.

Among the prerequisites is addressing the Kashmir issue, he said. He added he didn’t see how the two sides could move forward in view of the Indian government’s policies and ideology.

The Indian side had earlier planned to convene a similar meeting in April, with the participation of the former Ashraf Ghani government. However, this was scrapped due to the second wave of Coronavirus infections in India and the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan at the time.

India recently participated in a meeting of the Moscow Format that was also joined by senior Taliban leaders. Indian officials also held talks with the Taliban leaders on the margins of the meeting in Moscow.

Iran also convened a meeting of regional countries to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, though India was not invited to the meet.

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