NEW DELHI: In one fell swoop, and without once mentioning Pakistan or the US, India yesterday came down heavily on both countries, as well as on the UN, for their collective inaction on safe havens for terrorist groups in Pakistan.
However, Syed Akbaruddin, India’s envoy at the UN, did make sure he mentioned the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, in his speech Wednesday at the United Nations Security Council(UNSC), on the security situation in Afghanistan.
And, by raising questions about how and why terrorist groups in Afghanistan continue to get away with their agenda of violence, Akbaruddin didn’t need to name Pakistan and the US to make absolutely clear whom he was talking about.
“Clearly, the international community is dealing in Afghanistan with an adversary who is not averse to flagrantly violating international humanitarian and human rights laws; an adversary flush with resources, weapons and operational support; an adversary that has access to sanctuaries outside the sovereignty of Afghanistan and operational command of the international forces deployed there; an adversary that sees no reason or incentive to give up violence and participate in the creation of a democratic, united, stable, secure and prosperous state,” Akbaruddin said.
Kabul has for long blamed terrorists in Pakistan’s safe havens+ for the attacks on Afghanistan. The US has also acknowledged – many times – the existence of such safe havens in Pakistan+ and various state forces’ support to them. And yet, US military aid to Pakistan continues.
That’s what Akbaruddin was alluding to when he said the situation in Afghanistan “can’t change” when participants on the international stage “can’t or are unwilling to see” the various state and non-state agencies roiling the situation there.
“This we believe, for a long time, has remained the conundrum that the international community has faced in Afghanistan. The international community’s collective inability and unwillingness to see the problem for what it is has inflicted huge costs on the people of Afghanistan,” India’s UN envoy said.
Akbaruddin held even the UNSC culpable for Afghanistan’s security situation.
“While no two conflicts are comparable, one wonders why, despite the worst possible violence witnessed in Afghanistan, this Council doesn’t think appropriate to meet more often than at routine quarterly debates on the situation in Afghanistan,” said Akbaruddin, taking a jab at one of those very “routine quarterly debates” he was participating in, thus underscoring his message.
Here are some of the questions Akbaruddin raised in his debate on Afghanistan:
– “… where are these anti-Government elements getting their weapons, explosives, training and funding from?
– “Where do they find safe havens and sanctuaries?
– “How is it that these elements have stood up against one of the biggest collective military efforts in the world?
– “How is it that these elements collaborate with the world’s most dreadful terrorists in killing and brutalizing the Afghans?”
Akbaruddin further said international bodies must not differentiate between ‘good terrorists and ‘bad terrorists’ or 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 with no justifications offered for their activities,” he said.
India’s UN envoy said India, unlike most, is standing with Afghanistan. He mentioned the direct air corridor New Delhi set up between the two countries which became operational earlier this week, “overcoming the obstructions our two countries have faced in connecting and trading with each other.”The obstruction he was referring to is Pakistan.Akbaruddin made an impassioned plea to the international community to not turn its back on Afghanistan
“We see a growing tendency of treating violence in Afghanistan as a routine. Brutalities by terrorist and criminal networks are ignored under the label of anti-Government elements or a consequence of a civil and political conflict,” he said.