After Pakistan, China opts out of India-hosted dialogue on Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: Days after Pakistan declined to attend a regional security dialogue on Afghanistan hosted by India, China on Tuesday also backed out of the moot.

Citing “scheduling reasons”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin said it was “inconvenient” for China to attend the meeting.

“We have already given our reply to the Indian side,” he said during his regular press briefing.

New Delhi will host the Delhi Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan on Wednesday (tomorrow) which will be chaired by Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the “high-level dialogue will review and deliberate upon measures to address relevant security challenges and support the people of Afghanistan in promoting peace, security and stability”.

An India Today report said seven countries — Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — had confirmed that they would participate in the meeting.

Earlier this month, Pakistan had declined to attend the event hosted by India. Speaking at a news conference, NSA Moeed Yusuf, when asked, said: “[…] I am not going. A spoiler cannot be a peacemaker.”

Yusuf regretted the global community’s silence over human rights violations and state-sponsored terrorism in India-occupied Kashmir, and New Delhi’s expansionist vision that is leading the region nowhere.

Asked what hurdles Pakistan was facing in the region to achieve peace and progress, Yusuf said: “I think the region’s obstacles are in front of you, there is no need for debate on this.”

He said as long as India’s behaviour and radical ideology remain unchanged, the peace process in the region could not move forward. “The world has unfortunately kept its eyes closed and isn’t talking to India as it should,” he lamented.

He observed that peace and stability in Afghanistan were vital for Pakistan, making it clear that disengagement with Afghanistan was not an option for Pakistan.

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