S Tirumurti (File phot)
NEW DELHI: India has called on the UN Security Council to “speak unequivocally” against violence and terrorist forces and “act against terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens”.
Speaking in the Security Council on the Afghan peace process, India’s permanent representative to the UN TS Tirumurti said, “For durable peace in Afghanistan, we have to put an end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries operating across the Durand Line. The report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team under the al-Qaida/Da’esh Sanctions Committee has also highlighted the presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan. For violence to end in Afghanistan, these terrorist supply chains must be broken.”
He also called for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan. For the peace process to move forward, India put forth four suggestions: First, that “the peace process must be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled. Solutions must come from the Afghans themselves”.
Second, Tirumurti said, there must be “zero tolerance of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”. With a thinly veiled reference to Pakistan, he said, “Afghanistan can succeed only when terrorism no longer flows across the Durand Line. Terror and violence can’t be the instrument to shape Afghanistan’s future or dictate the choices Afghans make. It is important to ensure that no one provides sanctuary to terrorists who threaten Afghanistan or any other country in the region.”
India also made an impassioned plea that the “gains” of the past couple of decades should not be lost. In other words, India is cautioning the world against leaving Afghanistan in a place which could see the Taliban overrunning Kabul and taking the reins of power with Pakistan’s help. With their regressive mindsets, the progress made in the past few years, notably among women, could be lost. “India is convinced that the rights of women need to be strongly protected,” Tirumurti said.
Addressing the problems Afghanistan faces due to its land-locked situation and the curbs imposed by Pakistan, India demanded that Afghanistan should get “full transit rights” and which could not be used by other states to extract political mileage. “The international community should discourage medieval mentalities and work towards removal of artificial transit barriers imposed on Afghanistan. It should ensure all transit rights guaranteed to Afghanistan under bilateral and multilateral transit agreements operate without hindrance,” he said.