Amid deteriorating security situation, Afghanistan on agenda in Jaishankar’s Moscow visit

Amid the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the issue will be on agenda in Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's expected visit to Russia later this week

Jul 06, 2021
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Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar

Amid the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, the issue will be on agenda in Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's expected visit to Russia later this week. 

Jaishankar is likely to visit Moscow later this week, The Hindustan Times said, though no official announcement has been made so far. In April Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had visited India. 

The report, citing sources, said the two leaders "will discuss all bilateral and international developments, including the most vital and current issues such as Afghanistan."

Recently, the Taliban has run over most parts in the country’s north and fighting has reached the border of Central Asian countries, exacerbating anxiety among Central Asian republics about the possible spillover of the conflict into the region. 

Tajikistan on Monday ordered the mobilization of 20,000 troops along its border with Afghanistan. 

A Reuters reported on Monday said over 1000 Afghan security force personnel fled across the border into Tajikistan, escaping the Taliban offensive in the northeastern state of Badakhshan. In the last four days, the insurgent group has captured 24 of 28 districts of the provinces--most without much resistance. 

Of the over 400 districts of the country, the group is inching towards extending its control over 200 districts. On Monday, it captured 11 more districts. Significantly, the group is also controlling towns along borders with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. 

Significantly, Tajikistan President  Emomali Rahmon on Monday also made calls to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Rahmon expressed concerns about the deteriorating security situation in the northern region in the call with Ghani. 

Ghani, on the other hand, appreciated Tajikistan's goodwill to the displaced Afghans and said the Afghan government "will adopt immediate measures to address their needs."

Russia is also concerned about the stability of Central Asia which it considers its backyard. Tajikistan also has the largest Russian military base abroad. Lavrov had earlier said that ISIS is gaining ground in northern Afghanistan. 

On the Monday call with the Tajikistan president, Putin assured him of continued support and assistance from Moscow to help manage the looming crisis. 

(SAM)

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