By Naveen Kapoor
New Delhi [India], September 8 (ANI): India and Russia held their first detailed and extensive review of the situation in Afghanistan involving the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence and security agencies after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban.
The high-level India-Russia Inter-Governmental Consultations on Afghanistan took place during the visit of Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation General Nikolay Patrushev to India. During the consultation, India's side was led by the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
According to sources, both sides expressed deep concern over developments in Afghanistan.
There was a convergence of views between the two sides on all majors issues and common threats including the need for the Taliban to adhere to promises; the presence of international terrorist groups in Afghanistan and threats from terrorism to Central Asia and India; Islamic radicalisation and extremism; on the flow of weapons to terrorist groups and smuggling across Afghan borders and the high chances of Afghanistan becoming a hub of opium production and trafficking, the sources said.
India emphasised Pakistan's links with the Taliban and other international terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, and the special responsibility that Pakistan bears to ensure that Afghanistan soil is not used to spread terrorism.
India highlighted links of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI with terror groups in Afghanistan such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a source confirmed to ANI.
India expressed concern over the security of minorities including Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan, the sources informed.
The two sides discussed concrete forms of future bilateral cooperation among security agencies, including close coordination, upgrading consultations and exchange of information.
General Nikolay Patrushev also held a deliration with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar earlier today. He is also expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the Russian embassy here, the two sides agreed to coordinate their approaches in multilateral formats regarding the Afghan settlement.
It said the importance of "defining parameters of the future state structure of Afghanistan by the Afghans themselves, as well as the need to prevent the escalation of violence, social, ethnic and confessional contradictions in the country, was emphasized" during the talks.
The meeting was held a day after the Taliban, which seized the control of the war-ravaged country on August 15, announced its new caretaker government on Tuesday which comprises hardliners and has no representation of women. (ANI)