As the focus of the global intelligence community remains fixated on Afghanistan, two top officials from the USA and Russia visited India for discussions on security issues. CIA Chief Bill Burns arrived in India on September 7 to have a discussion on key security issues with Ajit Doval, National Security Adviser, and India’s security establishment amidst the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Following the visit of the US NSA, Russian NSA Nikolay Patrushev also visited New Delhi for talks with Indian NSA Doval.
Reports suggest that the conversation between Burns and Doval was centred on Terrorism from Pakistan and the situation that is unfolding in Afghanistan. Burns will go to Islamabad on Wednesday.
There is growing security concerns for both India and the US at regional and global stage as the Taliban has taken back control of Afghanistan. Burns’ visit seems to be highlighting these security concerns. Notably, protests broke in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Zaranj against the Jihadi regime as it announced Panjshir had fallen. It is believed that the attack on Panjshir was with support from Pakistan. The neighbouring country has also believed to have brokered a deal between various Taliban factions in the presence of Faiz Hameed, ISI chief who was in Kabul on September 6.
Sirajuddin Haqqani has been named as the interior minister of the Taliban government. Notably, he is a designated global terrorist, but he is not the only one in the Taliban’s new cabinet who has been named on the list of terrorists. Several other Talib leaders who are going to hold key positions in the government have their names on the global list of terrorists. UNSC committee chaired by India will soon decide on the Taliban sanctions in the next few weeks.
Security expert Nitin A. Gokhale while discussing India visit of the Security Agencies’s heads, said in a tweet, “What does it say about New Delhi’s role in the region that both the CIA Chief and Russia’s powerful security czar are in India at the same time.”
What does it say about New Delhi’s role in the region that both the CIA Chief and Russia’s powerful security czar are in India at the same time. Discuss— Nitin A. Gokhale (@nitingokhale) September 8, 2021
The prime concern for India at the moment is the spike in Pakistan’s infiltrations into India. As Burns visit wrapped up, Nikolay Patrushev, Russian NSA, arrived in India to have consultations on Afghanistan with Doval. By the time this report was written, a high-level meeting between Doval and Patrushev had already started in Delhi.
#RussiaIndia consultations on security issues have started in #NewDelhi. #Russia‘s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev is meeting with #India‘s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. pic.twitter.com/mg7WeH0eBr— Russia in India 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbIndia) September 8, 2021
Earlier, Chief of British MI6 Richard Moore also visited India to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. Gokhale wrote, “One more visitor to New Delhi may have gone unnoticed in the past week: the Chief of British MI6, Richard Moore. It is anybody’s guess what he wanted in India after the UK appears to have blatantly sided with Pakistan over the situation in Afghanistan.”
One more visitor to New Delhi may have gone unnoticed in the past week : the Chief of British MI6, Richard Moore. It is anybody’s guess what he wanted in India after the UK appears to have blatantly sided with Pakistan over the situation in Afghanistan.— Nitin A. Gokhale (@nitingokhale) September 8, 2021
India has already exchanged noted on Taliban-ruled Afghanistan with the security chiefs from the US and UK, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to meet General Nikolay Patrushev, often called the right-hand man of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is going to be a follow-up of the conversation between PM Modi and President Putin over the telephone on August 24. Gen Patrushev came to India at the invitation of NSA Ajit Doval. Reports suggest he is also scheduled to meet Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar. As per reports, issues related to Pakistan, China and Afghanistan would be in focus during the meeting.
NDTV quoted an official saying, “Like any other country, even Russia wants an inclusive government in Afghanistan and has made it clear that they also hope that Afghan soil would not be a source of terror emanating to the other countries of the region.”
Russia still maintains an embassy in Kabul, however, it is seriously concerned about long-term security concerns in the Jihadi group-led regime in Afghanistan. On Monday, Kudashev had expressed his concerns over terrorism stemming from Afghanistan spreading to Kashmir after the Taliban took over the nation. He said India and Russia shared concerns over terrorism and Afghanistan should not become a source of spreading terrorism.