United Nations, Sept 26 (PTI): India has asked the UN Security Council to use sanctions regime as a weapon against terror funding in Afghanistan and support the strengthening of the war-torn country’s sovereignty and stability threatened by terrorist safe havens across the borders. India also asked the international community to ensure that the forces of terrorism and extremism do not find sanctuaries and safe havens anywhere and at any level.
“We must not differentiate between good and bad terrorists, or play one group against the other. The Taliban, Haqqani Network, AI-Qaeda, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e- Mohammad and others of their ilk are all terror organisations, many of them proscribed by the UN,” Syed Akbaruddin, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said. “The international community cannot remain silent. It is the international community’s first and foremost duty to ensure that the forces of terrorism and extremism do not find sanctuaries and safe havens anywhere and at any level,” he said in an apparent dig at Pakistan.
Participating in an open debate of the UN Security Council on Afghanistan, Akbaruddin said that these terrorist groups should be treated like terrorist organisations with no justifications offered for their activities. Noting that the situation in Afghanistan has remained particularly painful and disturbing with security worsening and visible signs of withering away of the gains by the international community and Afghan people, the top Indian envoy said that the incessant attacks on hospitals, schools, funerals, or international development agencies, diplomatic missions are a matter of serious concern.
“The Security Council must act on the funds which the terrorists in Afghanistan are generating through their illicit activities. In this regard, we would like the Council to consider how the 1988 sanctions regime can be utilised and also leverage for progress in the peace process? These are significant instruments and must be utilised to their full capacity,” he said. “While making our collective efforts here at the UN or at other multilateral settings, we must be mindful to support the strengthening of Afghanistan’s sovereignty and stability, the two things anti-Government terrorist elements are trying to undermine from their safe havens across the borders of Afghanistan,” he said. He said the multiple crises that have been inflicted on Afghanistan had made the country’s territory attractive for criminal and terrorist groups, who are well connected to international terror and crime networks. “These groups are stealing the resources of Afghanistan which ought to belong to the people of the country,” he said.
Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani joined Akbaruddin in identifying terrorist safe havens across the border. “The scourge of terrorism and violent extremism affecting Afghanistan is the product of a long-standing policy by a neighbouring State to keep Afghanistan unstable,” he said. “It has menaced Afghanistan for several decades now, with its roots located in terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens outside of my country,” Rabbani said, adding that the new strategy of the United States for South Asia has generated new hope among people across the country.
“In this connection, we welcome the fact that the new strategy recognises the critical need to address the lingering problem of terrorist safe-havens and sanctuaries in our region; and for more determined efforts to end political, logistical and financial support enjoyed by terrorist groups,” he said. “Furthermore, the strategy’s conditions based approach has addressed some uncertainties by reinforcing the right message that the international community’s engagement will endure until Afghanistan becomes stable and secure,” Rabbani said.