New Delhi: India, on Thursday, Nov 11, said that for smooth and purposeful humanitarian assistance to crisis-hit Afghanistan, there ought to be "unimpeded and unhindered" access.
It expressed displeasure over China and Pakistan skipping the NSA-level Delhi Dialogue on Afghanistan in Delhi on Nov 10 shows "their attitude towards the Afghanistan issue".
"We had invited China for NSA-level talks, but due to scheduling, they could not come… Rest where they go and what they do. I don't want to talk about that. We had invited Pakistan too, but they didn't come to such an important meeting. This shows their attitude towards the Afghanistan issue," MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi told reporters at the weekly briefing.
"India's support to the people of Afghanistan is very clear. We have been extending support over many years to all the people of Afghanistan. The situation on the ground has become very difficult over the last few months," he said.
"One of the key elements which we've seen in previous meetings was the need for unimpeded, unhindered access for humanitarian assistance providers… There have been difficulties due to lack of unimpeded access," Mr Bagchi said.
India's statement on NSA-level Delhi Regional Dialogue comes after China and Pakistan refused to meet for the dialogue presided over by NSA Ajit Doval. His counterparts from seven neighbouring countries in the region, including Russia and Iran, attended the meet.
Incidentally, Iran had hosted two previous meets in 2018 and 2019.
China said it wouldn't be attending the meeting due to "scheduling reasons", while Pakistan declined to participate. Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan participated in the deliberations, and New Delhi has described the outcome as "exceeded expectations".
A 'Troika Plus' meeting to discuss the Afghanistan issue hosted by Pakistan is being attended by diplomats from Russia, China and the US.
The MEA spokesman said India has been participating in meetings over the Afghanistan issue of addressing impending humanitarian concerns.
"In the NSA meeting, the very serious humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was discussed at length," he pointed out.