India, Pakistan, China and Russia and several central Asian countries deliberated on the situation in Afghanistan at a conference in Moscow, a day after the US dropped the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. Representatives from the leading regional powers reviewed the peace process in Afghanistan as well as the security situation, besides exploring ways to ramp up reconstruction activities in that country. The conference is also understood to have delved on boosting regional coordination for bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan. The conference is an initiative of Russia-China-Pakistan trilateral and, official sources said it is for the second time India is participating in it. The US military had dropped its largest non- nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat on an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan on Friday, close to the Pakistani border. A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb, nicknamed “mother of all bombs,” was dropped on a tunnel complex of ISIS-Khorasan, a regional affiliate of the terror group, in Achin District of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, killing 94 ISIS militants according to Pentagon. On whether any Indian infrastructure project has been impacted by the bombing in Nangarhar, it will take time to collect detailed information. India has been a major development partner of Afghanistan and has been favouring an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process for the war-ravaged country. New Delhi has been maintaining that it believed in close and constructive cooperation among countries of the region for peace, stability, security and development in Afghanistan. India’s broad objectives in Afghanistan include orderly security, successful political and economic transition and ensuring the safety and security of its assets and personnel. Increasing trade, transit and energy links with Central Asia through Afghanistan are added objectives. It is beyond the capacity of New Delhi alone to resolve the serious security and development challenges. However, enhanced Indian engagement at this point will be a big boost to policy-makers in Kabul. In the prevailing negative western discourse on Afghanistan, Indian experts and think-tanks can also help in changing the narrative towards a positive outcome.
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