PRADEEP RANA | NEW DELHI
The Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar will be leading the high level delegation to Tashkent conference on Afghanistan dedicated to find ways to restore peace and prosperity in the war-torn nation.
The two day conference starting 26 March being hosted by Uzbekistan will be attended by foreign ministers from 19 countries, besides the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Special Representative of the Organization for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto.
“We have been informed that Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar will be leading a high-level delegation from the Indian side to Tashkent,” Ambassador of Uzbekistan to India Farhor Arziev told the mediapersons here.
India is a key player in reconstruction and infrastructure development work in Afghanistan in face of waves of terror attacks on Indian interests sponsored by ISI in Pakistan. New Delhi sees a stable Afghanistan crucial for reviving traditional trade and cultural ties with Pathan nation and for access to Central Asian countries. Pakistan sees Indian efforts aimed at containing it from its eastern border and distract it from its thrust on western border where it is backing terror attacks inside Kashmir.
The high-level conference ‘Peace Process, Security Cooperation and Regional Connectivity’ is being hosted by Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev jointly with the Afghan side and is a part of the Uzbek leadership’s overall strategy to provide for regional security and stability in the Central Asia.
The conference is expected to adopt a three-pronged Tashkent Declaration comprising: the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process; guaranteed integration of the armed opposition into the political life of Afghanistan; and an avowed opposition to all forms of terrorism without any distinction by the international community.
This conference comes as a sequel to Samarkand Conference ‘Central Asia: One Past and a Common Future, Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Mutual Prosperity’ where Mirziyoyev proposed a comprehensive programmeto secure enduring peace and stability in Central Asia, including Afghanistan.
Noting that peace in Afghanistan is bedrock of stability and prosperity of Central Asia. Mirziyoyev said it is essential to refuse to divide the security threats into “our own and those of others” and stick to the principle of indivisibility of security.
Mirziyoyev said it was worth underscoring once again that the principal role and responsibility in this process belongs with the Afghans themselves, who must determine and build the future of their country.
“Central Asia, being in the heart of Eurasia, stands as a bridge connecting Europe and the Middle East, South and East Asia,” President Mirziyoyev noted, adding the region has a unique cultural and civilisation potential, which has had a decisive influence on the development of many countries and entire regions.
Central Asia constitutes a crossing point of the interests of world powers, and the region adjoins the pivots of instability and conflict, experiencing the impact of all the downbeat processes occurring in the near and far abroad.
The President said everything depends on the willingness of the Central Asian states to assume responsibility for the common future of the region.