Pakistan Calls India 'Spoiler' While Refusing to Participate in Afghanistan Conference
© AP Photo / Ng Han Guan, PoolIndian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. (File)
© AP Photo / Ng Han Guan, Pool
Indian officials participated in the Moscow talks on Afghanistan and held bilateral talks with the Taliban* government's Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi on 20 October. New Delhi has also offered humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, Pakistan's National Security Adviser Moeed W. Yusuf said that he would not attend the regional National Security Advisers (NSA) conference on Afghanistan in New Delhi.
Islamabad received an invitation a few days ago for the proposed meeting to be held later this month.
"A spoiler is now trying to act like a peacemaker, which they can never be", Yusuf said while responding to a query by the Pakistani media on Tuesday.
India reportedly sent invitations for the planned in-person NSA-level meeting not only to Pakistan, but also to Russia, China, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
The Indian Foreign Ministry is yet to announce the date of the conference, and it is yet to be confirmed whether any country accepted the invitation.
India has softened its stance against the Taliban in recent weeks. It held the first bilateral talks with Taliban leaders in Moscow on 20 October, emphasising the need to expand diplomatic and economic ties.
The refusal by Yusuf comes weeks after a three-member Indian delegation participated in a Regional Anti-Terror Mechanism meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO-RATS) in Pabbi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
Pakistan's NSA has criticised India on numerous occasions, saying, "unfortunately, not everyone in the region who professes to prefer peace in Afghanistan does so in reality".
Bilateral ties between the two South Asian rivals have remained stalled since February 2019 when a bombing in the Pulwama District of Indian-administered Kashmir killed more than 40 security personnel. India blamed a Pakistan-based terrorist group for carrying out the attack.
Later in August 2019, Pakistan suspended India's envoy to Islamabad and recalled its ambassador from New Delhi following Delhi's removal of a constitutional provision that had allowed Kashmir to enjoy semi-autonomous status since 1948.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other nations.