Immediate end to violence needed, Afghanistan territory should not be used by terror groups: India at UN

United Nations : The international community needs to ensure an immediate end to the violence in Afghanistan, and it should be ensured that Afghanistan’s territory is not used by terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, TS Tirumurti said at an emergency session on Afghanistan, with India holding the month-long presidency.

Addressing the UN Security Council, Tirumurti said there is widespread panic among the people in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover and the collapse of the government.

“Women, children are in distress, incidents of firing have been reported from the city, including at the airport, while the security situation remains precarious. A grave humanitarian crisis is unfolding,” he said.

“It is time for the international community, and in particular this Council, to act and ensure an immediate cessation of violence and contain any possible crisis and mitigate its consequences.”

He said while the current situation in Afghanistan has numerous challenges, there are a few opportunities. “If there is zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and it is ensured that the territory of Afghanistan is not used by terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country, then Afghanistan’s neighbours and the region would feel safer,” Tirumurti said, adding that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had underlined this point unequivocally in his speech.

“As a neighbour of Afghanistan, and a friend of its people, the current situation prevailing in the country is of great concern to us in India. Afghan men, women and children are living under a constant state of fear, they are uncertain about their future, everyone is concerned about the increasing violations of the fundamental rights of the Afghan citizens. Afghans are worried about whether their right to live with dignity would be respected; There are many unanswered questions.”

“We hope that the situation stabilises soon and the parties concerned address the humanitarian and security issues.”
He expressed hope that there would be “an inclusive dispensation which represents all sections of Afghan society”.
“Voices of Afghan women, aspirations of Afghan children, and the rights of minorities, must be respected. A broader representation would help the arrangement gain more acceptability and legitimacy,” he underlined.

“Afghanistan has already seen much bloodshed in the past , it is time for the international community to come together unitedly, rising above any partisan interests, to support the people of Afghanistan in their desire for peace, stability and security in the country, and to enable all Afghans, including women, children and minorities, to live in peace and dignity.

“India has contributed significantly in recent years to the development of the country. In this context, Indian development projects have been undertaken in critical areas of power, water, roads, healthcare, education, agriculture and capacity building. India’s emphasis has been on the welfare and the well-being of the people of Afghanistan,” he stressed, adding that India had ongoing development projects in all the 34 provinces of Afghanistan.

Referring to the scenes at Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul, where people climbed on to a moving C-17 US Air Force plane as it took off, with some falling to their deaths, he termed them as “very unfortunate”.

“We call upon the parties concerned to maintain law and order, ensure the safety and security of all concerned, including UN diplomatic and consular personnel, and observe human rights and international humanitarian law in all circumstances in Afghanistan,” he said.