India backs UN’s call for direct talks between Afghan govt, Taliban














Backing the United Nations’ call for direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban especially ahead of the upcoming presidential elections in war-torn country, India on Tuesday (local time) asserted that the process of peace and reconciliation cannot go forward in an atmosphere of terror.

During a quarterly debate on United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) at the UN Security Council, India’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin said, “It is the Afghan people who will implement and bear the consequences of any agreements arrived at. Hence, outcomes which have constitutional legitimacy and a political mandate and are arrived at in an inclusive and democratic way alone can ensure stability. We, therefore, support the Secretary General’s call for direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban.”

Citing the latest terror blast outside the US Embassy premises in Kabul the night before 19th anniversary of September 11 Twin Tower attacks in Washington, the envoy stated, “There is a surge of violence in Afghanistan in recent days, including threats to the election process itself.”

“This has deepened apprehensions that acts of terror are being used to jockey for a place of advantage in the negotiating process,” he added.

The Afghan people are marking a century of independence this year and “their country stands at yet another transformational juncture” the envoy said.

The Afghan government has reiterated its stance to hold the Presidential elections on time (September 28) and move forward the ongoing peace process with “full wisdom and precision.”

In the wake of it, Akbaruddin said, “The international community needs to continue its support by fulfilling the commitments made to the Afghan security forces in their fight against the scourge of terrorism,” and further called on the international community to address the support and safe havens enjoyed from by terror groups such as the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Da’esh, as well as Al Qaeda and its proscribed affiliates, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

“Having been victims of terrorism, we understand and empathise with our Afghan friends the suffering and pain they are undergoing,” Akbaruddin said.

He added, “Amidst the clouds of the uncertainty of the present, we should not forget the precious gains that the Afghan people have made in the last 18 years.”

Keeping tandem with the occasion of Afghan national day, the envoy once again reiterated that India has worked with commitment to support the Afghan people through human resource development, including a recent capacity building program for officials from Afghan electoral bodies.

“The Afghan people have strengthened and embraced democracy; established a constitutional order; promoted the welfare and rights of minorities and youth; built a strong and increasingly capable security force; and forged deeper regional links. All of this, they have done so, while confronting the most brutal threats posed by terrorism,” he said.

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