By Arul Louis
United Nations, Aug 6 (IANS) India on Friday demanded that those supporting terrorists should be held accountable and there should be an assurance that neighbors are not threatened by terrorism as Afghanistan transitions with US withdrawing its troops.
India’s Permanent Representative T.S. Tirumurti told the Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan: “Those providing material and financial support to terrorist entities must be held accountable.”
Speaking before Tirumurti, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative Ghulam Isaczai had accused Pakistan of aiding the Taliban which is carrying out attacks on his government.
The meeting presided over by Tirumurti took place under the shadow of an upsurge in attacks by the Taliban on the Afghan government and dire international concern over the situation there.
Tirumurti said: “As a neighbour of Afghanistan, the current situation prevailing in the country is of great concern to us.”
“It needs to be ensured that Afghanistan’s neighbours and the region are not threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism. There needs to be zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” he said.
“For enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries in the region must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted,” he added.
“It is equally important to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan is not used by terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country.”
Recalling External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s statement to the Council in June, he said that a durable peace in Afghanistan requires a genuine “double peace” — “peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan”.
Tirumurti referred to the Taliban’s killing of Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui who was working for Reuters and said that the UN has reported that civilian casualties and targeted killings have reached record levels.
“There have been targeted attacks on religious and ethnic minorities, girl students, Afghan security forces, Ulemas, women occupying positions of responsibility, journalists, civil rights activists and the youth,” he said.
(Arul Louis can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)