Pakistan-India hold separate conferences on Afghanistan

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Pakistan and India are holding separate international conferences on Afghanistan.

China and Pakistan have refused to participate in the conference being hosted by India today (Wednesday) in New Delhi. No one from Afghanistan would be at the conference because India did not extend an invitation to the Taliban regime.

However, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Muttaqi will likely join a conference in Islamabad on Thursday. Special representatives (SRs) from Russia, the United States, and China will attend the “Troika Plus” meet.

Troika Plus includes countries with a direct role in Afghanistan. India is not part of the group.

The White House has confirmed that US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas West would be travelling to the region. He will also visit India.

An Afghan delegation led by Muttaqi is visiting Islamabad for bilateral meetings, but it is understood that they will attend the conference or at least meet with the SRs from Troika Plus countries.

Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi on Wednesday confirmed that a high-level delegation led by Muttaqi is visiting Pakistan.

Pakistan would be represented by Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Mohammad Sadiq.

India’s Security Dialogue

India had invited Pakistan and China to the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue. However, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Moeed Yousaf turned down the invitation saying “a spoiler cannot be a peacemaker.”

After Pakistan, China, too, said it would not attend the Delhi conference.

However, National Security Advisors from other countries Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Krygystan, and Tajikistan will meet today.

The conference will focus on regional security in view of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. It would also consider humanitarian aid for the country, according to Indian officials.

Although Afghanistan has not been invited to the conference, the Taliban government has welcomed the development.

Inamullah Samangani, the deputy spokesman of the Taliban government, on Wednesday said that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has high hopes for the regional meetings and considers it in the interest of Afghanistan and the region.

Samangani added that the neighbours and the countries of the region agree that there should be security in Afghanistan and that Afghanistan should develop economically and stand on its own feet.

He stressed that the Taliban government had no concerns about such meetings but hoped that such meetings will pave the way for better cooperation with Afghanistan.

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