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India asks world community to remain engaged in Afghanistan

India has told the UN that the international community should remain engaged in Afghanistan for security and stability, as any development in the war-ravaged country would have an "impact" on it.

United Nations: India has told the UN that the international community should remain engaged in Afghanistan for security and stability, as any development in the war-ravaged country would have an "impact" on it.

"The security of Afghanistan and what happens there impacts us, as a country in the region, as a close neighbour and a civilisation partner whose ties with the Afghan people
stretch into antiquity," Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, told the Security Council yesterday.

Puri said this in his address to the Security Council during an open debate on Afghanistan.

"A stable and settled Afghanistan, where the rank and file of the Taliban has given up violence against the government, and the people, cut all links with terrorism,
subscribe to the values of the Afghan Constitution and its laws, and where development is the hard rationale, is what we seek and quest for," he said.

It is important also that for such a structure to be durable and enduring, Afghanistan`s neighbours, and regional partners, will need to be in the picture - both by consultation and by adherence to the principle of non-interference in the country`s affairs, ensuring that it thrives as a trade and transit hub for the region, and by eradicating transnational terrorism, Puri said.

Noting that the international community as a whole has made a great contribution in assisting Afghanistan to stand on its feet, Puri said: "For lasting peace and stability in
Afghanistan, it is critical that the international community remains engaged in Afghanistan both on the security side as well as on development and capacity building efforts."

The Permanent Representative to the UN said India supports the efforts of the Afghan Government to reintegrate those individuals who are willing to abjure violence, do not
have ties with terrorist groups, and are willing to abide by the values of democracy, pluralism and human rights as enshrined in the Afghan Constitution.

"The process must be inclusive and transparent," he argued.

Puri noted that an overall deterioration in the security environment underscores the significant challenges that confront Afghanistan.

The latest report of the UN Secretary General on Afghanistan, he said notes that there has been a 94 percent increase in incidents involving IEDs during the first four months of 2010, a 45 percent rise in killings of civilians by insurgents, and an increase in complex suicide attacks.

"Despite reinforced International Security Assistance Force`s presence, continuous deterioration in the security situation is a stark reminder that the challenge from a
resurgent Taliban and al Qaeda is real, and it is one that threatens us all.

The well-springs that sustain such terror still show no signs of being drained," he said.

Puri said there is a broad recognition that the increase in terrorist actions in Afghanistan is due to the support and sanctuaries available beyond its borders.

"Security and stabilisation of Afghanistan will remain a distant goal unless we are able to isolate and root out the syndicate of terrorism, which includes elements of al Qaeda,
Taliban, LeT and other terrorist and extremist groups operating from within and outside Afghanistan`s borders," he said.


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