South Asia: Pakistan’s NSA not to attend Afghanistan conference hosted by India

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Pakistan’s National Security Advisor, Dr Moeed Yusuf has said that he will not go to the regional countries’ national security advisors (NSAs) meeting on Afghanistan being hosted by India.

He was addressing an event on Tuesday after Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed a Protocol on the Establishment of Joint Security Commission that was followed by the inaugural session of the commission.

The NSA was asked whether Pakistan has accepted India’s invitation to attend the conference. “I will not go. A spoiler cannot play the role of peacemaker,” he replied.

Earlier, the Foreign Office (FO) confirmed that India had invited Pakistan to attend a conference being hosted by the Indian NSA on Afghanistan next week. “But these need to be viewed in the overall context of Pakistan-India relations, and the regional situation,” FO spokesperson had replied.

“With regard to the conference on Afghanistan, it seems India is trying to find some relevance in the context of Afghanistan. As you are aware, various other regional mechanisms and processes are in place, including the one initiated by Pakistan itself – involving the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, the first meeting was held in Islamabad in September and the second Ministerial Meeting was held in Tehran,” the spokesperson added.

With regard to the conference on Afghanistan, it seems India is trying to find some relevance in the context of Afghanistan: Pakistan’s Foreign Office

Meanwhile, India has also extended an invitation to China, Russia, Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The conference will look to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan along with the security situation and the need for the Taliban to uphold human rights.

While talking about Afghanistan, the advisor said that Pakistan was criticised sometimes for being proactive in promoting engagement with Afghanistan.

“It may be a luxury for the Western world sitting 10,000 miles away to not bother about Afghanistan but Pakistan does not have any option to disengage from Afghanistan,” he said.

Yusuf further said that Afghanistan was in a state of war for four decades and its direct impact had been felt by Pakistan. He stressed that the world needs to engage with the present Afghan government to avert a humanitarian crisis.

“This is not a matter of the Taliban or some other government but of the ordinary Afghan citizens,” he added.

Earlier, Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed a protocol on the establishment of Joint Security Commission to enhance bilateral cooperation in security related matters.

Secretary of the Security Council of Uzbekistan Lt. General Victor Makhmudov and Yusuf led the respective delegations.

Sharing the details of the newly set up commission with Uzbekistan, the NSA said it will encompass matters ranging from drug trafficking, transnational crime, cooperation against terrorism.

He further said that previous existing agreements between the two countries will also be revitalised and taken forward in the same way.

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