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At UNSC meeting, India targets Pakistan over terror, asks it to change mindset

Pakistan’s “mindset” that unleashes terrorist attacks on India and Afghanistan must change, India has told the UN Security Council.

india Updated: Jan 20, 2018 20:26 IST
Agencies
Syed Akbaruddin , India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, speaks during a reception in the honour of Justice Dalveer Bhandari (L) at the United Nations in New ---- after Bhandari made it to the International Court of Justice.
Syed Akbaruddin , India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, speaks during a reception in the honour of Justice Dalveer Bhandari (L) at the United Nations in New ---- after Bhandari made it to the International Court of Justice.(PTI FILE)

Pakistan needs to change its “mindset” of differentiating between good and bad terrorists, India has told the UN Security Council, urging it to focus on challenges posed by terrorism emanating from the safe havens from across the border.

Only by changing the terror mindset can peace come to Afghanistan, Syed Akbaruddin, Indian ambassador to the UN, said on Friday at a a special ministerial meeting on the conflict-torn country.

“Terrorism and externally induced instability pose the gravest threat to Afghanistan’s peace, stability and prosperity,” he said. “And the growing arc of terrorist violence endangers our entire region.”

Terrorism has taken a huge toll on Afghanistan, Akbaruddin stressed, backing up his assertion with World Bank statistics.

Afghanistan recorded a 9.6% annual economic growth rate from 2003 to 2014, but it fell to 2.2% in 2016 as terrorist activities spiked, and it was 2.6% last year, according to the bank.

“There is a common Afghan saying that roughly translates as ‘If water is muddied downstream, don’t waste your time filtering it; better to go upstream to clean it’,” Akbaruddin said.

Underlining that support for voices of peace in Afghanistan alone is not enough, he said, “We must focus on addressing the challenges posed by cross border terrorism emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries to our region and especially to Afghanistan.”

“If we do so, the decay, which has been inflicted on Afghanistan, can be made reversible,” he added.

He told the Security Council it is India’s vision that Afghanistan regain its place and New Delhi remains committed to working closely with its regional and international partners to bring peace, security, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.

“It is with this in mind that our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Afghanistan on December 24, 2015 to inaugurate the Parliament building, stopped over in Lahore, Pakistan,” he said.

“Unfortunately, these visits were followed by a heinous and barbaric terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase on January 1, 2016, perpetrated and planned by the very same mindsets which attack the spirit of Afghanistan every day,” he added.

“These mindsets differentiate between good and bad terrorists. These mindsets refuse to see reason in peace. They are mindsets that are reluctant to join hands in moving the region forward to build a shared future for our people and our youth. These mindsets, Mr. President, need to change,” Akbaruddin said.

The high-level meeting was presided over by Kazakhstan’s foreign minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov and focused on regional cooperation to promote development and security in Afghanistan. Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was among those attending the session.

Illustrating how terrorism impacts development, he said a disproportionate amount of resources are diverted from the aid projects to protecting them rather than building more projects.

The New Development Partnership between India and Afghanistan cover education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, renewable energy, drinking water supply and human resource development, he said.

The recent visits by Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah have given the partnership a boost, he added. India pledged a $1 billion package for Afghanistan last year.