Ruchira Kamboj, New Delhi's Permanent Representative to the UN, has stated that India views the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan as an urgent necessity.
According to IANS, she informed the Security Council on Wednesday that India has a direct interest in maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan.
She outlined "our shared and urgent priorities" in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan includes "fighting terrorism and drug trafficking". Additionally, she emphasised the protection of women, children, and minorities' rights, as well as the establishment of a government that includes all.
Highlighting the "tragic humanitarian crisis" in the nation ravaged by floods, earthquakes, and a surge of refugees, she emphasised the significance of aid for the Afghan populace.
India has provided crucial humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, along with maintaining its educational scholarships for Afghan students. In addition, India has collaborated with several United Nations agencies, such as the World Food Programme (UNWFP) and the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to support their humanitarian initiatives.
She affirmed at the Council's meeting, which included a briefing on Afghanistan, that our humanitarian aid for the people of Afghanistan will persist.
Kamboj emphasised the fact that all of Kashmir, even the regions occupied by Pakistan, are integral parts of India by characterising India as a contiguous neighbor to Afghanistan.
Ramesh Rajasinghm, the leader of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) based in Geneva, stated that the Afghan population's humanitarian needs have reached an unprecedented level, with over 29 million individuals in need of assistance.
He mentioned that the pressure continues to mount due to new developments.
Over a span of eight days, the western province of Herat experienced three earthquakes, each with a magnitude of 6.3. These seismic events resulted in damage to 40,000 residences and impacted approximately 275,000 individuals.
A significant increase in the number of Afghans returning from Pakistan has been observed in the eastern and southern regions, following an order that expelled approximately 1 million Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan.
He stated that over 4.5 lakh Afghans have come back, with women and children making up more than 85 per cent of this figure.
Munir Akram, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan, subtly pointed a finger at India, alleging that their primary opponent provides support to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
He subtly introduced the topic without explicitly mentioning it, thus preventing India from utilizing its right to respond. This would have given India the opportunity to address Pakistan's involvement in endorsing terrorism and offering a safe haven to terrorists.
The delegate from Pakistan, previously known for harboring the Taliban and al-Qaeda, has now accused the Taliban government currently in power in Afghanistan of safeguarding a number of terrorist organizations, among them the TTP.
Akram warned that if the Taliban isn't compelled to take action against terrorists, there could be a resurgence and spread of terrorism from Afghanistan, similar to the situation before 9/11.
Indeed, Pakistan had provided refuge to Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders responsible for the terrorist attack on the US on 11 September 2001.
Simultaneously, Akram commended certain elements of the Taliban's governance. He noted that the hardline Islamic militants had enhanced both the law and order situation and the economy. Furthermore, he pointed out their efforts in diminishing opium production and curbing corruption.
The Council's division was once again evident in their response to the Taliban's treatment of women and girls, and the approach to handle the regime.
Robert Wood, the US Alternate Representative, stated that the United States will refrain from taking any substantial measures towards normalising relations with the Taliban until women and girls are granted significant access to education, employment, and other facets of social and political existence.
He emphasised that the Security Council needs to maintain its collaborative efforts to persuade the Taliban to deviate from their harmful path.
Geng Shuang, the Deputy Permanent Representative of China, advocated for unconditional discussions with the Taliban regime. He expressed Beijing's opposition towards any attempts to manipulate or militarize the subject of women's rights.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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