India has strongly criticized the UN for its failure to show resolve in sanctioning new Taliban leaders who continue to perpetrate violence and destruction in Afghanistan and aided by those harboured in safe havens in its neighbourhood, a veiled reference to Pakistan.
Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Eenam Gambhir said at a UN General Assembly debate on the situation in Afghanistan it is clear that the terrorists who plan attacks against Afghanistan are not interested in peace.
“The goalposts for them have changed. The terrorists and their supporters have now set up industries amongst them of narcotics and illegal mining in the territories they control stealing the resources of the Afghan people and to fund more violence and terrorism,” she said.
Gambhir said that while the people of Afghanistan strive for better lives and a peaceful future, the challenges they face have only increased in the recent past. She cited the recently released Global Terrorism Index, which named Afghanistan as the world’s deadliest country for terrorism with one-quarter of all worldwide terrorism-related deaths during 2017 occurring in the country.
India strongly criticized the UN’s failure to deal with the “source” of terrorism wrecking havoc in the war-torn country.
“Despite these challenges, the UN has not demonstrated the resolve to deal with the source of the problem. The Security Council sanctions committee, which refuses to designate new leaders of the Taliban or to freeze the assets of the slain leader of Taliban, is falling short of what is expected of it by the Afghans and international community,” she said.
“From the lessons from the past, we who are located in New York, are aware that peace in Afghanistan is tied to the peace and security in the entire world,” she added.
Gambhir noted that while the international community advocates that there is no military solution to the issue, the Taliban, aided by their supporters, continue to pursue military operations perpetrating violence and destruction, like the recent attack in Kabul, over several parts of Afghanistan.
In a thinly-veiled reference to Pakistan, Gambhir said “these offensives are planned and launched by those who are harboured in safe havens in the neighbourhood of Afghanistan. These sanctuaries have, for years, provided safety for the dark agendas of ideologically and operationally-fused terror networks like the Taliban, Haqqani network, Daesh, Al- Qaeda and its proscribed affiliates such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.”
Gambhir said the reports of the Secretary General repeatedly demonstrate that the violence and terror in Afghanistan was showing no signs of abating. “We witnessed an increased frequency of attacks, in places never imagined before; even the sick and wounded in hospitals, young boys and girls in schools, praying devotees in mosques, and even mourners at funerals, were not spared by the forces of terror and violence,” she said.
The General Assembly held its annual debate on the situation in Afghanistan during which it adopted a resolution by a recorded vote of 124 in favour to none against, with three abstentions (Libya, Russia, Zimbabwe).
Through the terms of the draft resolution, the Assembly pledged its continued support to Afghanistan as it rebuilds a stable, secure and economically self-sufficient State, free of terrorism and narcotics. It further encouraged all partners to support constructively the Government of Afghanistan’s reform agenda and emphasizes that threats to stability and development in the country and the region require closer and more coordinated cooperation.
Gambhir lauded the enthusiastic participation of the people of Afghanistan in the Parliamentary elections held last month despite terrorist violence, saying this reflects their desire and faith in democratic governance and rejection of forces that foment and spread terror and violence.
“Democracy in Afghanistan is taking deeper roots,” she said.
She stressed that India supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled inclusive peace and reconciliation process which promotes and protects unity, sovereignty, democracy, inclusiveness and prosperity of Afghanistan. “Any meaningful progress towards sustainable peace requires cessation of terrorist violence, renunciation of links with international terrorism, respect for rights of common Afghan people, especially the women, the children and minorities.”
She further said that India will continue to stand with Afghanistan, stressing that building reliable connectivity for the land locked country is key component of its regional partnership.
“In these endeavors we are mindful that all such projects respect state sovereignty and territorial integrity and are based on universally recognized international norms, transparency and principles of financial responsibility, ecological and environmental protection and preservation standards,” she said.
It is with this spirit that India is engaged in various connectivity projects in the region including the Chabahar Port project and direct India-Afghanistan Air-Freight Corridor, which have been successfully operationalised, she said.