New Delhi: India’s envoy to United Nations T S Tirumurti on Friday called on the Taliban to engage in “negotiations in good faith”, “eschew the path of violence” and “severe ties with the Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations” at the United Nations Security Council meeting on Afghanistan. The meet that took place under India’s presidency of the top UN body happened days after Afghan Foreign minister Hanif Atmar called India’s External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to hold a meet as the situation deteriorates in his country.
Tirumurti said that the Taliban should “fully commit itself towards reaching a political solution” and “violence and military threat cannot be used to strengthen the negotiating position of any side” for which a “tangible demonstration of this commitment is required.” Taliban has launched a massive offensive against the Afghan government with heavy fighting being witnessed in Herat, Kandahar, and other provinces.
The Indian envoy also pointed that “any regime devoid of legitimacy in Afghanistan would find it difficult to garner much needed humanitarian and developmental assistance from the international donor community.” Important to remember that the Taliban is keen to get global legitimacy even as the group has been visiting Tehran, Moscow, and Beijing to garner support.
Highlighting that “the international community cannot afford to set the clock back” and the “future of Afghanistan cannot be its past”, he said the New Delhi supports a “leading role for the United Nations and call on the Secretary-General to take an initiative towards finding a lasting and durable outcome”.
While UN-led initiative is envisaged, there are regional platforms like Doha Process, the Moscow Format and the Istanbul Process which are working to ensure stability in the country. Next week the troika plus–US, Russia, China and Pakistan group will meet to assess the situation in the country.
On the issue of terrorism, he said, “For enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries in the region must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted.” Without mentioning Pakistan’s name, the envoy said, “Those providing material and financial support to terrorist entities must be held accountable.”
He listed the situation in-country, including recent incidents like the attack on UN compound in Herat, attack on the residence of Defence minister, “murder” of Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui, and “merciless” killing of more than 100 Afghan civilians in Spin Boldak.
On India’s role, Tirumurti said, “we will continue to stand with Afghanistan in ensuring that peace and stability is restored through a legitimate and transparent democratic process that is essential for the long-term stability of Afghanistan and the region.”
Explaining further, he added, “Will continue to provide all support to Afghanistan in realizing their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future, free of terror, where the rights and interests of all sections of the Afghan society are promoted and protected.”
India has been a major donor for Afghanistan in the region and has been involved in major infrastructure projects in the country. The Afghan Parliament and the India Afghanistan friendship dam in Herat have been built by India.