Indian NSA meets top Russian, US security officials; Pakistan's role in Afghanistan discussed

The Taliban, which promised to recast themselves in a more moderate mold, failed when they named the Afghanistan cabinet, a top source Wednesday told NDTV after a high level inter-governmental consultation between Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in New Delhi

Sep 08, 2021
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Indian NSA meets top Russian

The Taliban, which promised to recast themselves in a more moderate mold, failed when they named the Afghanistan cabinet, a top source Wednesday told NDTV after a high level inter-governmental consultation between Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in New Delhi. An associate of the Islamist militant group's founder has been named premier and a wanted man on a US terrorism list is the interior minister in the new Afghanistan cabinet announced yesterday.

"Afghanistan has failed in its branding exercise when they named its cabinet. Discussions were held on situation which will affect its immediate neighbours, including India and Russia," a senior oficial in the Prime Minister's Office told NDTV. The two NSAs, according to him, deep dived into security situation which may arise with the new Taliban cabinet announcement.

"Both countries have similar concerns on terrorism. So discussions were focused as to how to ensure that the Taliban adheres to their promises and assurances," the official added.

The Russian NSA is said to be the most trusted aide of President Vladimir Putin and also shares a close rapport with his Indian counterpart, Mr Doval.

The political, security and humanitarian situation in the war-torn country was also discussed.

India pointed out that the activities of terrorist groups, including Pakistan based terror groups, like, Jaish e Mohammad and Lashkar e Taiba, need to be kept under check as they have moved along the Afghanistan border taking advantage of the weak security system.

"Role of drug cartels and regional countries in this backdrop was also discussed and both assured each other of cooperation to meet current and future threats and measures to assist Afghanistan," said another government source. Drawing attention to the latest developments in Afghanistan, the Russian NSA said yesterday that there is a danger of the possible spread of terror into Russian territory as well as Kashmir.

India's Ambassador to Russia DB Venkatesh Varma, however, said talks with the Taliban in Doha have not yielded the right results. "...India was not a direct participant in the Doha talks. India was also not part of the Troika Plus mechanism, but as I said, these mechanisms have not yielded the right results. I think one lesson is that it is better that India and Russia work together with respect to Afghanistan. That is the most important lesson for us," Venkatesh said, referring to the Qatar-hosted talks with the Taliban that paved the way for the US pullout from Afghanistan after a 20-year war.

 Doval also met with CIA chief William Burns in New Delhi on Tuesday. The details of what Doval and the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) chief discussed are not known, but in the backdrop of the Taliban government formation in Afghanistan, regional security issues were on top priority, NDTV said. 

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