India demands UN action against terror threats to Afghanistan
United Nations: India has lashed out against the “systematic state supporta” from outside to terrorist organisations bent on destabilising Afghanistan and has called on the UN Security Council to act immediately against the threat from these forces.
Speaking at a Security Council debate Monday on aid to Afghanistan, India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji said, “It is terrorism and not tribal differences or ethnic rivalries, which is the main source of insecurity and instability in Afghanistan.”
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s report to the Security Council last month on Afghanistan and international security backs up this view of India,” he said.
“These terrorist groups, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba or LeT, are active despite the efforts of the valiant personnel of the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) and the international coalition forces,” Mukerji said. “It is obvious that their activity cannot be sustained without systematic state support from beyond Afghanistan’s borders.”
Although he tactfully avoided naming names, singling out Lashkar-e-Taiba made clear the source of the “systematic state support.” The terror group is based in Lahore and operated training camps in Pakistan-administerd Kashmir, a fact acknowledged by the US State Department.
“Reports indicate these groups are mutating into more virulent forms, in a region already impacted by terrorism,” Mukerji added. “The Council must act against this threat with a sense of urgency.”
Ban’s report said that “the rise in the overall number of security incidents recorded indicates a mounting challenge to the Afghan security forces from insurgent groups.”
Highlighting the growing violence, it said, “In 2014 there were 22,051 recorded (insurgent) incidents, which surpassed those of 2013 by 10 per cent. In terms of incidents recorded over the past 13 years, 2014 was the second-highest, after 2011.”
Acknowledging that “as anticipated, violence has escalated”, Pakistan’s newly-appointed Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi asserted that her country’s “military operation has targeted all terrorist groups without distinction”.
The trend of Afghanistan warming towards Pakistan and China under the new government of President Ashraf Ghani and Beijing’s backing for the Islamabad-backed dialogue between Kabul and the Taliban was in evidence during the Security Council discussions.
Ban’s report set the scene by referring to last month’s China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue in Kabul. It said, “Both China and Pakistan pledged to support the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.”
The three countries discussed “the peace and security situation in the region, as well as the need to deepen trilateral cooperation in counter-terrorism and security”, it added.
Lodhi said Afghanistan and Pakistan “share a vision of a partnership built on multiple pillars of common security and economic interests”. She added, “We welcome China’s closer engagement in promoting reconciliation and economic development in Afghanistan.”
And Afghanistan’s Permanent Ambassador Zahir Tanin reciprocated, “We welcome the new phase of cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan towards the shared goal of peace and reconciliation.” And as for Beijing, he added that Kabul would like to “express our appreciation to the People’s Republic of China for its help facilitating the peace process”.
Ban’s special representative to Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom mentioned among reasons for “renewed hope for peace” the dialogue between Islamabad and Kabul on peace, trade and security.
Wang Min, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative, said that the international community should adapt to the new reality in Afghanistan and promote a broad-based reconciliation process.