In a veiled reference to Pakistan, India has said the problem of terrorism in Afghanistan is not a local one and attacks inside the country are launched from safe havens in its neighbourhood that has sheltered Taliban leaders and supported the "dark agendas" of terror outfits like the LeT and JeM.
India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin during a debate at the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan said yesterday that the spring offensive from the Taliban had taken many lives despite the much-appreciated peace offer from the Afghan Government.
"Such offensives are planned and launched from safe havens in the neighbourhood of Afghanistan, he said.
While not naming Pakistan, Akbaruddin said those supporting the terrorists targeting Afghanistan have not been deterred.
Notwithstanding the efforts made by the international community, there are still those who provide sanctuaries to support the dark agendas of terrorist organizations like the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.
The same safe havens that sheltered Mullah Omar also sheltered Osama bin Laden. Lest we forget, the terrorism problem in Afghanistan is not a local one, he said.
Akbaruddin asserted that it should not take a catastrophe again to remind the international community that Afghanistan requires strong and steady international support in elimination of what is a threat to global peace and security.
He noted that the focus of the international community in Afghanistan has been unremitting from the start of this year.
Akbaruddin, however, added that sadly, the markers of progress on fundamental concerns about the situation strike a sombre note -whether it is in terms of the suffering of the ordinary people of Afghanistan, the senseless orgy of heinous killings by terrorists, or the displacement of a conflict-weary people.
Akbaruddin voiced concern over the Taliban's involvement in virtually all aspects of the opium trade, suggesting that it’s not a mere political or terrorism problem but one of the organised crimes. He underscored the need for the Council to tackle linkages between extremism, terrorism, drug production and illegal exploitation of natural resources of Afghanistan.
It is time that this Council looks at options to better utilise the range of tools available to it to deal with these trans-national networks of drugs, terrorism and crime, he said.
He highlighted India’s support as a development partner of Afghanistan in areas of connectivity, improving trade and investment relations, noting the significant developments in recent months on connectivity.
He cited the example of the Chabahar port and as well as the India-Afghanistan Air Freight Corridor, which has gained momentum in the first year of its operation.
Cargo flights between Kabul, Kandahar, New Delhi and Mumbai have so far carried over 2,000 tonnes of exports from Afghanistan to India worth over tens of millions of dollars.
Encouraged by this, we have plans to expand the air freight corridor network to various other cities in Afghanistan and India, he said.
Akbaruddin also lauded the rise of Afghanistan’s cricket team, qualifying for the next Cricket World Cup and making their debut as a test cricket playing nation earlier this month against India. He expressed optimism over the prospect of India’s national cricket team playing on the Afghan soil in the future.