Afghanistan Meeting in New Delhi: Factors Bringing India Closer to Central Asian States

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The Taliban’s domination of Afghanistan in August 2021 caused discomfort in the New Delhi administration. As a matter of fact, India’s neighbor and rival Pakistan also thought that India would be the actor who lost the most from developments in Afghanistan. For this reason, India closed its Embassy in Kabul during the said period and recalled its diplomats. However, it is observed that there has been a change in India’s Afghanistan policy recently. Because the New Delhi administration attends meetings on Afghanistan on the one hand, and tries to start a new process in which India is at the center, on the other hand.

Currently, India is seeking an inclusive format that includes Central Asian countries and Afghanistan. To this end, New Delhi hosted the national security advisors of the Central Asian states on December 6, 2022. While the national security advisors of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan participated in the meeting; Turkmenistan was represented by the New Delhi Ambassador.[1]

In his speech during the opening of the meeting, National Security Advisor of India Ajit Doval stated that terrorist activities in Afghanistan are worrying and that the United Nations (UN) members should refrain from helping terrorist organizations. Both Doval and other participants drew attention to the activities of terrorist organizations, drug trafficking and radicalization in Afghanistan. National Security Advisor of Uzbekistan Viktor Mahmudov emphasized that the isolation of Afghanistan would deepen the problems in the region, reflecting Tashkent’s general approach to the Afghan Problem.[2]

The developments indicate that New Delhi is trying to act together with the Central Asian states regarding Afghanistan. There are various reasons for this. First of all, India has common concerns with the Central Asian states regarding Afghanistan. As it is known, after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, the activities of radical terrorist organizations led to concerns about regional security. The concerns of the Central Asian states on this issue coincide with reservations of India.[3]

Terrorism is not the only thing that brings India closer to Central Asian states. At the same time, the actors are trying to act together against the possibility of increasing drug and arms smuggling. Although the Taliban has announced a ban on opium cultivation and trade in Afghanistan, it has not been able to prevent this problem. Moreover, the possibility of the weapons left by the USA during the withdrawal process from Afghanistan to fall into the hands of separatist structures also worries the actors. This creates the need for a collective approach.

Another issue that India and the states of the region agree on is the establishment of an internationally recognized state in Afghanistan. Indeed, this situation of the Taliban, which is not officially recognized by any state negatively affects aid and investments made to Afghanistan. The deepening of the economic problems in country may bring along immigration problem. Such a situation will adversely affect not only the Central Asian countries, but also India.

Currently, India wants to develop its relations with the Central Asian states in the fields of economy and energy. As a matter of fact, while the Beijing administration is trying to open up to Central Asia via the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), New Delhi is trying to balance CPEC through Iran via Chabahar Port.[4] Afghanistan could also become an area of India-Central Asian cooperation here.

As a result, although the Taliban administration stated that there was no threat to the states of the region, the actors who met in New Delhi expressed that they perceived a threat from Afghanistan and emphasized the need to fight this threat through regional cooperation, including Afghanistan. However, this is not the only issue. Because Afghanistan is only one of the topics that play a critical role in the development of India-Central Asia cooperation.

[1] “مشاوران امنیت ملی کشورهای آسیای میانه: بحران انسانی در افغانستان نیازمند اقدام جمعی است”, Afinti,, (Date of Accession: 07.12.2022).

[2] “هند: ادامه فعالیت شبکه‌های تروریستی در افغانستان نگران کننده است”, Azadiradio,, (Date of Accession: 07.12.2022).

[3] “هند و کشورهای آسیای میانه نگران‌ فعالیت شبکه‌های تروریستی در افغانستان‌اند”, Independent,, (Date of Accession: 07.12.2022).

[4] “تاکید بر نقش چابهار در نشست مقامات امنیتی همسایگان افغانستان در هند”, IRNA,, (Date of Accession: 07.12.2022).

[5] “هند و کشورهای آسیای میانه نگران‌ فعالیت شبکه‌های تروریستی در افغانستان‌اند”, Independent,, (Date of Accession: 07.12.2022).

Ahmad Khan Dawlatyar, 2013 yılında Kunduz Üniversitesi Hukuk ve Siyaset Bilimi Bölümü’nden mezun olmuştur. Yüksek lisans derecesini Ankara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Siyaset Bilimi Anabilim Dalı’nda “Türkiye Cumhuriyeti ve Afganistan İslam Cumhuriyeti Anayasalarında Güçler Ayrılığı İlkesi Üzerine Karşılaştırmalı Bir Analiz” başlıklı teziyle 2019 yılında almıştır. Çeşitli bilimsel etkinliklere katılan Dawlatyar, Afganistan sorunuyla ilgili bildiriler ve makaleler sunmuştur. Bu kapsamda “Afganistan Sorununun Dini ve İdeolojik Nedenleri” başlıklı sunumu yayınlanmıştır. Halihazırda Ankara Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Uluslararası İlişkiler Anabilim Dalı’nda doktora eğitimine devam etmektedir. ANKASAM bünyesinde yürütülen çalışmalara katkıda bulunan Ahmad Khan Dawlatyar’ın başlıca çalışma alanları Afganistan ve Pakistan’dır. Dawlatyar, anadil seviyesinde Farsça, Özbekçe, Türkçe ve Peştunca dillerine hakimdir. Ayrıca orta düzeyde İngilizce bilmektedir.