China and Pakistan have been also invited to participate in the Dialogue

India will be hosting the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10.The meeting to be held at the NSA level, will be chaired by Ajit Doval will chair, sources said.

Two earlier meetings in this format have been held in Iran in September 2018 and December 2019. The third meeting in India could not be held earlier due to the pandemic.

There has been an overwhelming response to India’s invitation. Central Asian countries as well as Russia and Iran have confirmed participation (first time that all Central Asian countries, not just Afghanistan’s immediate land neighbours, are participating in this format), sources said.

The enthusiastic response is a manifestation of the importance attached to India’s role in regional efforts to promote peace and security in Afghanistan.

Invitations have been extended to China and Pakistan too, and formal responses are awaited.

However, Pakistan has indicated through the media that it will not attend. Pakistan’s decision is unfortunate, but not surprising. It reflects its mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate. Pakistan has not attended the previous meetings of this format, sources said.

Its media comments against India are an unsuccessful attempt to deflect attention from its pernicious role in Afghanistan.

The high-level participation in next week’s meeting hosted by India reflects the widespread and growing concern of regional countries about the situation in Afghanistan and their desire to consult and coordinate with each other. India has an important role to play in this process.