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Fourth Afghanistan-India Security Dialogue

KABUL: Former national security advisor Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta said Sunday that terrorism is a state instrument which Pakistan uses against Afghanistan and India and that the unscrupulous neighbour had asked Kabul years before to cut ties with New Delhi as precondition for political engagement.

Spanta made his remarks during the fourth round of the Afghanistan-India Security Dialogue organized by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) and United Service Institute of India (USI).

He said that India and Afghanistan are facing same threats. “Terrorism is one of them. Terrorism is a serious threat, and it will remain serious. Terrorism is not primarily emerging from the social crisis or ideological tension within Afghanistan.”

Spanta said that terrorism was a state instrument which Pakistan uses against Afghanistan and India.

Regarding the ever-growing threat of Taliban, he said: “I believe whether we want it or not, some sort of Talibanization might take place. Our main task is fighting this Talibanization and Pakistanization, and in the long run, aim to have a moderate and democratic Afghanistan and reduce threats in our region.”

Pakistan had asked Afghanistan during the term of Hamid Karzai, Spanta said, to refrain from sending its officers and military students for education to Indian academies, acquiring ammunition and weaponry for its security forces from India, allowing Indian companies in the reconstruction of Afghanistan in the southern provinces, exchanging intelligence with India and similar preconditions in bid to engage in Afghanistan.

“We have consistently talked about regional terrorism. Every kind of violence is condemnable,” said the Indian Ambassador to Kabul Vinay Kumar. He asserted that India has strategic cooperation with Afghanistan, which is a mutual relationship between the two states which is independent from other relations.

The Afghanistan-India Security Dialogue aims to identify obstacles and opportunities for improving mutual understanding and cooperation between Afghanistan and India, by bringing together government officials, lawmakers, civil society activists, academia and journalists from the two countries.

The first round of the “Afghanistan-India Security Dialogue” was held in Delhi on 14-15 March 2016, the second round was held in Herat on 16 October 2016 and the third round was held in Delhi on 8 September 2017. This round of the dialogue will be held under the theme of “Experience of Afghanistan and India in the field of counterterrorism” at AISS, Kabul on 25 November 2018.

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