• Tuesday, August 16, 2022


‘Terror from Afghanistan soil could hit Kashmir’

Taliban fighters patrol a street in Kabul on August 29, 2021. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

AFGHANISTAN’S territory should not be used for spreading terrorism in other countries of the region and countries like Russia and India have “common concern” over it in the backdrop of the current situation in the war-torn nation, Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev on Monday (6) said.

The Russian envoy said there is a possibility of the spread of terror from Afghanistan into Russian territory as well as in Jammu and Kashmir and noted that Moscow and New Delhi will continue to work together to counter any threat of terrorism. “As far as the phenomena of terror are concerned, we do share our concerns with India. There is a danger of terror being spread to the Russian territory and the territory of Kashmir. This is a matter of common concern,” he said in an interview with Indian news agency PTI.

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Kudashev said Russia would like to seen an inclusive government taking charge in Afghanistan which would be able to establish security, stability and predictability. He also said that the recognition of a new regime in Kabul is not an immediate area of focus for the Kremlin.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with Russian president Vladimir Putin (Photo by MIKHAIL METZEL/AFP via Getty Images)

The 63-year-old diplomat said there is “ample scope” for cooperation between Russia and India on Afghanistan and both sides are in regular contact with each other on the latest developments in Afghanistan. Kabul saw the return of the Taliban, who were kept out of power for two decades by the western forces’ occupation since the invasion after the 9/11 attacks, leaving the international community deeply worried over the situation there.

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“Both India and Russia are concerned about the situation in Afghanistan. We want an inclusive government. We want that the Afghan soil should not be a source of terror for other countries in the region,” Kudashev said.

“These are the very basic values that bring Russia and India together. I do not see much of a difference in our position on Afghanistan,” he said.

When asked about Pakistan backing various terror groups operating in Afghanistan and whether they pose a threat to regional security, Kudashev said Russia expects Pakistan to be among the countries that would like to see predictability and a secure environment in Afghanistan.

India has expressed concern over the rise in activities of various terror outfits from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan affecting the situation in Kashmir.

Last week, Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai and expressed India’s concern that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used to encourage anti-India activities and terrorism. It was the first publicly acknowledged formal engagement between India and the Taliban.

Last month, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin over the situation in Afghanistan after Kabul fell to the Taliban. Following their talks, Russia said the two leaders expressed intention to improve cooperation to counter the dissemination of “terrorist ideology” and the drug threat emanating from Afghanistan’s soil and agreed to set up a permanent bilateral channel for talks on the issue.

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