India says Afghanistan situation ‘fragile’, calls for inclusive government

Indian Permanent Representative to the United Nations T S Tirumurti also reiterated the importance of the protection and promotion of the rights of women, children and minorities in Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters sit next to street vendors at a local market in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Friday. India has called for a “broad-based, inclusive and representative” government in Kabul. (AP)
Taliban fighters sit next to street vendors at a local market in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Friday. India has called for a “broad-based, inclusive and representative” government in Kabul. (AP)
Published on Sep 10, 2021 10:13 PM IST
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ByYashwant Raj I Edited by Amit Chanda

Describing the situation in Afghanistan as “very fragile”, India has called for a “broad-based, inclusive and representative” government in Kabul and for the international community to rise above partisan interests and stand with the Afghan people.

Indian Permanent Representative to the UN T S Tirumurti on Thursday also reiterated the importance of the protection and promotion of the rights of women, children and minorities.

He was participating in a UN Security Council discussion on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), whose mandate is up for renewal beyond September 17.

“The situation in Afghanistan continues to be very fragile,” said Ambassador T S Tirumurti, adding that “the current situation is of direct concern to us” as an immediate neighbour and friend of the people of Afghanistan.

T S Tirumurti went on to renew India’s call for an inclusive dispensation in Afghanistan, saying, a “broad-based, inclusive and representative formation attained through an inclusive negotiated political settlement would gain greater international acceptability and legitimacy”.

The current caretaker government announced by the Taliban is anything but broad-based, representative and inclusive. There are no women among them, no minorities and it is confined largely to Pashtuns, the largest ethnic community in Afghanistan and who dominate the ranks of the Taliban. There are no Tajiks or Hazaras, the next two largest groups.

The Indian diplomat also took the opportunity to refer to a “substantial and forward-looking” resolution adopted by the UN Security Council during India’s presidency in August over terrorism.

“It took into account some of our collective concerns, in particular on terrorism, where it has noted the commitment of the Taliban not to allow the use of the Afghan soil for terrorism, including from terrorists and terrorist groups designated” by the UN.

The Taliban have given an undertaking also as part of the peace agreement they signed with the United States in February 2020 that they will not allow terrorists plan or carry out attacks on the US and allies; the Americans have expanded the umbrella since to include partners.

The UNSC resolution “underlined that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts”, said T S Tirumurti. He went on to cite the Kabul airport attack to say terrorism continues to threaten Afghanistan.

Ambassador T S Tirumurti also said that the resolution took note of the Taliban commitment to allow Afghans and foreign nationals to travel out of the country in a safe, secure and orderly manner.

India also called for continued and unhindered UN access Afghanistan and T S Tirumurti said that when members of the council decide the future of UNAMA “we keep our focus centered on Afghan people and their expectations from the international community to stand by them in this hour of crisis”.

He reiterated India’s long and significant contribution to development of Afghanistan. Indian development projects have been in critical areas of power, water supply, road connectivity, healthcare, education, agriculture and capacity building.

“India’s emphasis has been on the welfare and well-being of the people of Afghanistan”, he said further. India has carried out more than 500 development projects across all 34 provinces and provided humanitarian assistance through the delivery of 75,000 MT of wheat in 2020.

“We hope that these developments projects and the education and human resource development imparted by India over the years will help in contributing to the development of an inclusive and progressive polity,” the Indian permanent representative said in conclusion.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021