On Sunday, India Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said India seeks to work with Central Asian nations to help provide aid to Afghanistan and ensure a more representative government is in place there.
At the India-Central Asia Dialogue in New Delhi, Jaishankar told his counterparts from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Uzbekistan “Our concerns and objectives in that country are similar”. “We must find ways of helping the people of Afghanistan.”
The Indian minister enlisted the need for an inclusive government in Afghanistan, fighting terrorism and drug trafficking, providing unhindered humanitarian assistance, and preserving the rights of women, children, and minorities as priorities for the Asian neighbors.
New Delhi has so far held only one formal meeting with the Taliban group since its takeover of Afghanistan earlier this year. The Indian government is concerned about how Taliban rule could impact security in the region, especially in India’s restive northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi invested $3 billion in Afghanistan, has been expanding its ties with energy-rich Central Asian nations.
New Delhi has also backed regional infrastructure projects including the North-South corridor that includes highways and railways connecting Chabahar port in Iran with Russia to reduce the time of shipments between Europe and central Asian markets.
National security advisers of all the five Central Asian countries along with Iran and Russia last month attended regional talks on Afghanistan hosted by India. Of the central Asian nations, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan share borders with Afghanistan.
Source: Indian Express, Business Standard