India is likely to host its own conference on the developing situation in Afghanistan next month. The central government is in touch with Russia, China, US and several regional countries for the conference, which is likely to take place in the second week of November.
According to a report by Times of India, A final confirmation from the conference invitees is awaited, said the report. While there are no plans yet to invite the Taliban for the conference, an invite to Pakistan is not ruled out.
Meanwhile, India will participate in the meeting being hosted by Russia involving the Taliban next week, the Ministry for External Affairs said on Thursday.
A Taliban delegation has already confirmed that they will attend the October 20 event in Moscow for the so-called Moscow format talks on Afghanistan, Russia’s TASS news agency quoted the Russian foreign ministry as saying.
The Moscow talks also involve China, Pakistan and Iran.
This will be the first edition of the Moscow Format on Afghanistan since the Taliban stormed to power.
While India’s first formal contact with the Taliban was in Doha on August 31, the Moscow Format will enable the first formal contact between New Delhi and the interim Taliban government in Kabul.
Moscow had hosted an international conference on Afghanistan in March at which Russia, the United States, China and Pakistan released a joint statement calling on the then-warring Afghan sides to reach a peace deal and curb violence.
It also called on the Taliban not to launch any offensives in the spring and summer.
Since then, the United States and its allies withdrew their troops after 20 years on the ground, the Taliban seized power in a lightning advance and the previous government collapsed.
Russia is worried about the potential for fallout in the wider region and the possibility of Islamist militants infiltrating the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, which Moscow views as its southern defensive buffer.
In the wake of the Taliban takeover, Moscow has held military exercises in Tajikistan and bolstered its hardware at its military base there.
Putin on Thursday also held a phone call with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon in which the two leaders discussed the security situation surrounding the latest developments in Afghanistan, the Tajik presidency said in a statement.