New Delhi : There has been an overwhelming response to India’s invitation for the November 10 NSA-level meet being convened on Afghanistan, and Pakistan’s decision not to attend, conveyed through the media, is “unfortunate, but not surprising” and reflects Islamabad’s “mindset of viewing Afghanistan as its protectorate”, sources said on Friday.
While invitations have been extended to China and Pakistan for the meet being chaired by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the formal responses from Beijing and Islamabad are awaited, the sources added.
“There has been an overwhelming response to India’s invitation” by the other countries.
“The Central Asian countries as well as Russia and Iran have confirmed participation, and it is the first time that all Central Asian countries, not just Afghanistan’s immediate land neighbours, are participating in this format,” the 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.”
Slamming Pakistan for turning down the invite, the sources said that: “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. Its media comments against India are an unsuccessful attempt to deflect attention from its pernicious role in Afghanistan,” the sources added.
“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,” the sources said.
Earlier this week, Pakistan’s National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said at a news briefing that he will not be visiting India for the November 10 NSA-level regional meet on Afghanistan.
Asked at a media interaction in Islamabad if he would be travelling to India for the meet, he said “I will not be going”, and added “a spoiler cannot be a peace maker”, in an apparent reference to India.