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Use force to quell Taliban: India

India says solution to Afghan problem lies in using force against extremists and giving development opportunities.

india Updated: Nov 29, 2006 13:05 IST

Rejecting suggestions for making a deal with the Taliban, India has said the long-term solution to problems in Afghanistan lies in a judicious mixture of using force against extremist elements and providing credible and sustained development opportunities.

"What is needed is to eliminate the bases of extremists' support," India's Ambassador to UN Nirupam Sen told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday without naming any country and called for interdiction of sources that provide terrorist groups with arms and finances.

He rejected suggestions for making a deal with the Taliban and warned that such a course would bring neither peace nor security.

"The swamp of terrorist insurgency cannot be drained till the stream feeding the swamp dries up or is at least reduced to a trickle," he remarked.

An important regional and international duty that devolves upon the international community is to "firmly and decisively" act to eliminate not only the agencies of terror themselves, but to stop their backers and prevent incitement of terror, he told the delegates discussing situation in Afghanistan.

Stressing that much more needs to be done to reverse the deteriorating security situation, Sen has called for intensification of regional and international efforts to deal with the problem of resurgent Taliban, an Al-Qaeda insurrection and their nexus with the drug traffickers.

Stressing that most of the accepted milestones of modern democracy are now visible in Afghanistan, Sen noted that these landmark achievements have been attained in the face of adversity and despite serious challenges.

"This is not to deny the need for further efforts, or to suggest that we may now indulge in the luxury of complacency: far from it.

We do recognise the need for further efforts to give representation to all segments of Afghan society, including women," he told the 192-member Assembly.

India, he said, sees a resurgent, stable, sovereign and peaceful Afghanistan as an essential element in the growing webs of regional cooperation that are binding the world, as also a process that reclaims for the people of Afghanistan their rightful place in the collective future.

Afghanistan's entry into the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation at its last Summit in Dhaka was a manifestation of this process.

"We believe that Afghanistan can and must be provided with the means to re-establish itself as the crossroads of Asia, and as one of the future transport hubs and energy bridges of our region," he added.

Reiterating India's unwavering commitment to assist with the reconstruction of Afghanistan, he said New Delhi has extended financial assistance totalling over $600 million to fund infrastructure projects and to strengthen the National Budget process.

"Our involvement in project assistance spans the gamut of activity from basic infrastructure such as roads, power, dams, and telecom to community-based small-scale projects, which have a short gestation period and provide a direct, rapid and visible impact on community life," he added.

First Published: Nov 29, 2006 12:54 IST