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  • 12 December, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

India-Central Asia 

India-Central Asia

More information on the meeting:

  • Concerning the first NSA meeting between India and Central Asia:
  • The meeting was the result of the India-Central Asia virtual summit in January 2022, during which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan and agreed to have security chiefs meet on a regular basis to discuss India's "extended neighborhood."
  • The meeting was attended by the NSAs of India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Turkmenistan was represented in New Delhi by its ambassador.

Meeting highlights include:

Afghanistan's Situation and a Joint Communiqué:

  • According to a joint communique issued following the meeting, the Security Advisors discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and its impact on regional security and stability.
  • They also reaffirmed their strong support for a peaceful, stable, and secure Afghanistan, emphasising respect for the country's sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity while urging non-interference in its internal affairs.
  • Countries emphasized the importance of ensuring that terrorist groups do not find safe haven there.


Uzbekistan's Termez Transport and Logistics Hub:

  • The communique praised Uzbekistan for establishing the "Multifunctional Transport and Logistics Hub" in Termez, which helped channel aid to Afghanistan.
  • Turkmenistan made a push for the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, which was launched in 2016.
  • The TAPI pipeline project has been hampered by the Afghan conflict and the breakdown of India-Pakistan ties, but the NSAs agreed on the importance of TAPI in expanding connectivity.

Individual efforts:

  • The countries gathered also noted India's special conferences involving the UN Security Council and NMFT (No Money for Terror) on countering terror financing, Kazakhstan's work on the International Agency for Biological Safety, Kyrgyzstan's efforts on climate change, and the Dushanbe Declaration on border security cooperation to prevent terrorist movement
  • Push for early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT): The communique also called for the early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), which India first proposed in 1996 but has been held up for decades, primarily due to disagreements over the definition of terrorism.
  • UN-CCIT: As its two-year term as a member of the UN Security Council comes to an end, India is expected to make a push for the CCIT and other anti-terrorism formulations.


  • It is the first time that India has hosted top security officials from Central Asian countries.
  • The NSAs will meet again in India next year under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Relations between India and Central Asian countries:

  • India regards Central Asian countries as the Heart of Asia.

  • The meeting takes place on the 30th anniversary of India's diplomatic relations with the Central Asian countries.
  • These countries are also participants in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
  • This communique demonstrates India's efforts to advance regional cooperation in a comprehensive manner.
  • Connectivity: Central Asian countries continue to be a top priority for India in terms of investment and connectivity in the region.
  • While expanding connectivity, it is critical to ensure that connectivity initiatives are transparent and participatory, with respect for all countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Central Asia as a Land Bridge: Central Asia, which is rich in natural resources, serves as a land bridge between Asia and Europe for India.

Afghanistan's Importance to India:

  • India's engagement with the Taliban regime has increased, with the head of the Indian Mission in Kabul meeting with the Taliban regime's "Interim" Ministers to discuss restarting Indian projects in Afghanistan.


Geographic inaccessibility:

  • Geographic inaccessibility is India's major limitation in this strategically important region. India has no borders with the CARs.

Lack of mutual trust:

  • Central Asian countries that are landlocked can benefit greatly from connecting with India's vast market.
  • Unfortunately, due to a lack of mutual trust, many connectivity options are unavailable to them.

Tensions with Pakistan and China:

  • Because of India's tensions with Pakistan, there is no viable land route to Central Asia.

Instability in Afghanistan:

  • The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan has severely hampered India's Central Asian plans.

In the future:

  • India is committed to expanding its ties with Central Asia and has proposed a "four C" approach focusing on commerce, capacity enhancement, connectivity, and contacts to further expand bilateral cooperation.

About Central Asia Region

  • Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan comprise the Central Asia region (CA).
  • It is a diverse region comprised of upper-middle and low-income countries that are strategically important due to their geographic location and natural resource endowments.

Source: The Indian Express

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