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Sunday, September 26, 2021

For Afghan peace, dismantle terror havens: India at UNSC

The Council, under the current presidency of India, held the meeting to discuss the Afghanistan situation amid increasing military offensives by the Taliban as the US forces withdraw from the war-torn country.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 7, 2021 7:25:07 am
Jaishankar met Iran president Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran. Iran welcomes India’s role in establishing stability in Afghanistan, Raisi told him. (Photo: PTI)

Stressing that “the future of Afghanistan cannot be its past”, India on Friday said terrorist safe havens in the region must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted, even as it emphasised that it is time for the UN Security Council to decide on actions to ensure immediate cessation of violence in that country.

“As a neighbour of Afghanistan, the current situation prevailing in the country is of great concern to us. The violence shows no sign of abating,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti, said at a Security Council meeting on Afghanistan.

The Council, under the current presidency of India, held the meeting to discuss the Afghanistan situation amid increasing military offensives by the Taliban as the US forces withdraw from the war-torn country.

President of the Security Council, Tirumurti, while making a statement in his national capacity, said the international community cannot afford to set the clock back. “The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past.”

In a thinly-veiled reference to Pakistan, he said for enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries in the region must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted. “It needs to be ensured that Afghanistan’s neighbours and the region are not threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism. There needs to be zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Tirumurti said. “It is equally important to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan is not used by terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country. Those providing material and financial support to terrorist entities must be held accountable.”

Tirumurti said it is “time for the international community and, in particular, this Council to take stock of the situation, and decide on actions” that would help bring a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire and ensure an immediate cessation of violence. “Anything short of this will constitute a serious threat to regional peace and security,” he said.

Also on Friday, Qatar’s envoy for conflict resolution Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani held talks with Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs J P Singh on the Afghanistan situation. Al-Qahtani, who played a key role in the Afghan peace process, is scheduled to call on Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday, sources said.

Meanwhile, India has condemned the act of desecrating a Sikh religious flag in Afghanistan. “We have seen media reports on Nishan Sahib, a Sikh religious flag atop the roof of Gurdwara Thala Sahib, Chamkani in Paktia province of Afghanistan having been removed. We condemn this act and reiterate India’s firm belief that Afghanistan’s future must be one where the interests of all sections of Afghan society are protected,” a source said.

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