In a veiled reference to Pakistan, India said perpetrators of violence in Afghanistan must not be allowed safe havens in its neighbourhood, as it slammed UNSC’s sanctions regime for not designating the leader of Taliban as terrorist, calling such an approach a “mystery.”
“The fact that the leader of Taliban – a proscribed entity – is not yet designated as a terrorist individual remains a mystery to us. Can we know the rationale for such an approach,” Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador Tanmaya Lal said at a Security Council debate on Afghanistan at the United Nations.
The Taliban had named Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, a conservative cleric in his 50s, as its new leader after Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour was killed in a US drone strike in May. Akhundzada is not on any terrorist designated list.
Lal questioned how, by not designating the head of a banned entity, the world body intends to address one of the biggest threats to peace and security.
“Is it now the thinking that leaders of proscribed entities will not be held accountable for the deeds of the listed groups that they head? Is this how we now intend to address one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” he said in his remarks.
Lal questioned whether the response to India’s queries on the functioning of the UN sanctions regime will be a “deafening silence” as was the case when the Security Council Committee 1988, which deals with issues relating to Afghanistan, had met last month, with no information about what was discussed in the meeting.
“We are unaware of what was discussed and what was the outcome of these discussions. Are Member States entitled to know what this Committee, which acts on their behalf, considers and decides upon on, for all of us?
“This appears to be one more instance of the secrecy practiced in the subterranean universe of the Security Council which has now enshrined the principles of anonymity and unanimity to ensure lack of accountability to member-states,” he said.
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In an apparent reference to Pakistan, Lal said groups and individuals that perpetrate violence against the people and government of Afghanistan “must not be allowed safe havens in Afghanistan’s neighbourhood.”
While the Afghan government has made efforts to combat terrorism, “others have callously looked the other way” when Afghanistan is targeted by Taliban, Haqqani Network, ISIS, al-Qaeda, LeT and JeM, Lal said and called for effective implementation of the Security Council’s sanctions regime, including the 1267 ISIL/Al-Qaeda Sanctions and the 1988 Taliban regime. He said this is “absolutely essential” for it to serve as a “strong deterrent” to the listed entities and individuals.