China role seen in India not being invited to Afghan meet

Speculations are rife that China played spoilsport and, at the behest of Pakistan, scuttled India's invite at the Troika Plus meet on Afghanistan in Doha on August 11. Russia had earlier sought India’s participation in the meet on the grounds that New Delhi has wide ranging stakes in Afghanistan. The USA had supported the move. But the opponents to India’s presence at the meet — China and Pakistan — allegedly scuttled the move on the grounds that India has limited influence in Afghanistan, indicated experts who track developments in the region. Russia was not only keen to include India but Iran, another close ally, in the Troika Plus meet. But Iran too did not find an invite at the August 11 meet. However, Pakistan has been opposed to India’s presence in meetings associated with Afghan peace talks and this has found resonance from various other powerful stakeholders which consider Islamabad as a key player to handle Taliban. China, as the all-weather ally of Pakistan, has been the strongest supporter of Pakistani demands in the Afghan theatre amid the unfolding crisis, noted one of the experts quoted above. India has time and again emphasised that the legitimacy of government in Kabul cannot be ignored. India and Russia had forward looking discussions on Afghanistan’s future and India’s legitimate interests in Afghanistan when the NSA and foreign minister met their counterparts in June and July. The Russian foreign minister had, twice in the recent past including at the Tashkent connectivity meet, referred to India’s role in the Troika Plus meet. Earlier in March, India was not present at the last Troika Plus meet in Moscow. Moscow is trying to form a regional consensus on the future of Afghanistan. At the SCO meet in Dushanbe in July, foreign minister S Jaishankar advised Taliban to abide by the Moscow format and the Doha and Istanbul processes. During his Moscow visit, Jaishankar noted that the basis for India-Russia-Iran partnership on the lines of mid 1990s, still remains valid as he asserted that the legitimacy of who ruled Afghanistan cannot be ignored. Russia remains a key player to address the impasse in Afghanistan amid the Taliban surge and has deep interests in the stability of the landlocked country as any spread of terror and extremism impacts Central Asian states with possibility of a spillover into the Russian Caucus region. Delivering a strong message against the spillover of extremism into the former Soviet space, Russia has launched a trilateral military exercise in Central Asia comprising military ally Tajikistan and key partner Uzbekistan, both of which share borders with Afghanistan. Besides, CSTO has been activated to address any security challenges in Eurasia. Russia has also held standalone military exercise with both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan even as it continue to engage in talks with the Taliban.

China role seen in India not being invited to Afghan meet
Speculations are rife that China played spoilsport and, at the behest of Pakistan, scuttled India's invite at the Troika Plus meet on Afghanistan in Doha on August 11.

Russia had earlier sought India’s participation in the meet on the grounds that New Delhi has wide ranging stakes in Afghanistan. The USA had supported the move. But the opponents to India’s presence at the meet — China and Pakistan — allegedly scuttled the move on the grounds that India has limited influence in Afghanistan, indicated experts who track developments in the region.

Russia was not only keen to include India but Iran, another close ally, in the Troika Plus meet. But Iran too did not find an invite at the August 11 meet.


However, Pakistan has been opposed to India’s presence in meetings associated with Afghan peace talks and this has found resonance from various other powerful stakeholders which consider Islamabad as a key player to handle Taliban. China, as the all-weather ally of Pakistan, has been the strongest supporter of Pakistani demands in the Afghan theatre amid the unfolding crisis, noted one of the experts quoted above. India has time and again emphasised that the legitimacy of government in Kabul cannot be ignored.

India and Russia had forward looking discussions on Afghanistan’s future and India’s legitimate interests in Afghanistan when the NSA and foreign minister met their counterparts in June and July. The Russian foreign minister had, twice in the recent past including at the Tashkent connectivity meet, referred to India’s role in the Troika Plus meet. Earlier in March, India was not present at the last Troika Plus meet in Moscow.

Moscow is trying to form a regional consensus on the future of Afghanistan. At the SCO meet in Dushanbe in July, foreign minister S Jaishankar advised Taliban to abide by the Moscow format and the Doha and Istanbul processes. During his Moscow visit, Jaishankar noted that the basis for India-Russia-Iran partnership on the lines of mid 1990s, still remains valid as he asserted that the legitimacy of who ruled Afghanistan cannot be ignored.

Russia remains a key player to address the impasse in Afghanistan amid the Taliban surge and has deep interests in the stability of the landlocked country as any spread of terror and extremism impacts Central Asian states with possibility of a spillover into the Russian Caucus region.

Delivering a strong message against the spillover of extremism into the former Soviet space, Russia has launched a trilateral military exercise in Central Asia comprising military ally Tajikistan and key partner Uzbekistan, both of which share borders with Afghanistan. Besides, CSTO has been activated to address any security challenges in Eurasia. Russia has also held standalone military exercise with both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan even as it continue to engage in talks with the Taliban.