India has told the UN that the international community should remain engaged in Afghanistan for security and stability, as any development in the war-ravaged country would have an "impact" on it.
"The security of Afghanistan and what happens there impacts us, as a country in the region, as a close neighbour and a civilisational partner whose ties with the Afghan people stretch into antiquity," Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, told the Security Council yesterday.
Puri said this in his address to the Security Council during an open debate on Afghanistan.
"A stable and settled Afghanistan, where the rank and file of the Taliban has given up violence against the government, and the people, cut all links with terrorism, subscribe to the values of the Afghan Constitution and its laws, and where development is the hard rationale, is what we seek and quest for," he said.
It is important also that for such a structure to be durable and enduring, Afghanistan's neighbours, and regional partners, will need to be in the picture - both by consultation and by adherence to the principle of non-interference in the country's affairs, ensuring that it thrives as a trade and transit hub for the region, and by eradicating transnational terrorism, Puri said.
Noting that the international community as a whole has made a great contribution in assisting Afghanistan to stand on its feet, Puri said: "For lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan, it is critical that the international community remains engaged in Afghanistan both on the security side as well as on development and capacity building efforts."
The Permanent Representative to the UN said India supports the efforts of the Afghan Government to reintegrate those individuals who are willing to abjure violence, do not have ties with terrorist groups, and are willing to abide by the values of democracy, pluralism and human rights as enshrined in the Afghan Constitution.
"The process must be inclusive and transparent," he argued.
Puri noted that an overall deterioration in the security environment underscores the significant challenges that confront Afghanistan.
The latest report of the UN Secretary General on Afghanistan, he said notes that there has been a 94 per cent increase in incidents involving IEDs during the first four months of 2010, a 45 per cent rise in killings of civilians by insurgents, and an increase in complex suicide attacks.