It is our foremost duty to ensure that...
Thank you for organizing this debate on the situation in Afghanistan. We appreciate the insightful and frank briefings by SRSG Mr. Yamamoto and Dr. Sima Samar that have added to our understanding of the current circumstances.
2. The unimpeded and increasingly brutal terrorist attacks, the territorial gains by terrorist groups with support from outside Afghanistan and the emerging grave humanitarian crises are all portents of dreadful times.
3. The recent terrorist attack on Afghanistan's largest hospital in Kabul poignantly depicts the very complexity of the problems faced by Afghans as a people in the most graphic manner. A wounded nation reeling with multiple injuries, in dire need of healing and in its most vulnerable condition, is attacked in the most gruesome manner by disguised attackers who target caregivers.
4. In the last few months, terrorism in Afghanistan has grown enormously in its intensity, brutality and scope. Terrorist groups have been successful in their efforts to capture and hold territory. The Taliban have tried to expand its influence to territories in North and North East along with South West where they traditionally were not so strong. The nexus between terrorist networks and criminal groups has further strengthened.
5. We salute the Afghan National Security Forces, who are doing their tasks of countering the forces of terrorism and extremism with courage and resilience. India remains committed to stand with Afghanistan and support and strengthen capabilities to fight terrorism and violence. While, the international community pours in resources and efforts in supporting this wounded nation it is also crucial that we ensure that it is accompanied by steadfast efforts to enable the support to be absorbed and utilized by Afghanistan. In this regard, it is our first and foremost duty to ensure that the resurgent forces of terrorism and extremism do not find sanctuaries and safe havens in any name, form or manifestation. Experience shows that situations in which foreign assistance is available to insurgents tend to fester and take a greater toll. There is also a need to neither differentiate between good and bad terrorists, nor to play one group against the other. The Taliban, Haqqani Network, Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, and others of their ilk are all terror organizations, many of them proscribed by the UN. They should be treated like terrorist organizations and their activities universally opposed.
6. It is obvious that the political process that the UN had started and the sanction regimes that the Council had split have not quite worked. The fact that the Council has not acted on the Taliban leaders as it had vowed in resolution 1988 is now well documented. It has taken the subsidiary body of this Council 4 months to confirm the death of the former leader of the Taliban. It is now 7 months and we are still counting as we await the decision of the Council's same subsidiary on freezing the accounts of that slain terrorist.
7. Even as the democratically elected Government of Afghanistan battles against terror, it is being saddled with mounting problems which are not of its making. We are seeing a paradoxical phenomenon of the return of almost a million Afghans to their homeland, many involuntarily, to the most difficult security and economic situation the country has witnessed.
8. As if all this was not enough, the land locked country's access to the high seas is becoming an issue of contention.
9. The collective humanitarian impact of all this is staggering, it has been outlined by the Secretary General in his report and by the briefers today.
10. Are these indicators that the trend of reversing of the gains of the international community and Afghan people in the last decades, has perhaps now started? Can all of us who have invested so much in support of the Afghan people remain watching on the sidelines?
11. While territories are captured by terrorists, people are killed and threatened to go back to a situation perhaps same as or worse than what they fled, can we remain just looking on? Standing, where we are today, it is imperative that we take action and take it decisively. We must not forget the implications the world faced in 2001 for its lack of action. History never forgives those who forget it.