National security advisers (NSAs) and security council secretaries of eight countries, including India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, participated in the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan that took place in New Delhi on November 10.  Pakistan and China did not attend the meeting, which is the continuation of a mechanism whereby Iran hosted two meets in 2018 and 2019. 

Indian media reports say the dialogue participants called for closer coordination and collective efforts to tackle threats such as terrorism emanating from Afghanistan and to address a looming humanitarian crisis.

They reportedly pushed in their brief opening statements for collective efforts to cope with threats such as terrorism and drug trafficking emanating from Afghanistan and to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people before the onset of winter.

Hindustan Times says that in his opening remarks, India’s National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval said the time has come for closer consultations and greater coordination among regional countries to find solutions to recent developments in the war-torn country.

Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani¸ Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, reportedly referred to the challenges of terrorism and a refugee crisis and said, “The solution comes only through the formation of an inclusive government with the participation of all ethnic groups.”

Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, called for practical measures to deal with threats and challenges emanating from Afghan territory.  Noting the proliferation of dialogue mechanisms on Afghanistan, including the Moscow Format and the Turkic Council, he said it was important that these forums should not duplicate work but complement each other.

Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee chairman Karim Massimov said his country is closely monitoring threats and challenges coming from Afghanistan. “With the Taliban movement coming to power, the situation inside the country remains complicated. There are many obstacles to form an effective government system,” he said, according to Hindustan Times.

“Terrorist organizations are intensifying their activities. We are strongly concerned with the operations of the Central Asian fighters,” Massimov added.

Tajikistan’s Security Council Secretary Nasrullo Mahmoudzoda said his country was concerned about developments following the Taliban takeover because it has a long border with Afghanistan.

“The current situation creates extra risk and possibility for growth of drug trafficking, terrorism and criminality.  The situation on the Tajik-Afghan border remains complicated currently under the influence of many negative factors,” he said, adding that Afghanistan may face a “humanitarian catastrophe” during the upcoming winter.

“We need to find a solution to provide all the necessities for the population of Afghanistan,” Mahmoudzoda said.

According to an Indian assessment, the five main threats and challenges following the Taliban takeover on August 15 are terrorism within Afghanistan and across its borders, radicalization and extremism, cross-border movements, drug production and trafficking, and the danger posed by vast amounts of weapons and military gear left behind by US troops.