New York: India is concerned at the current political impasse in Afghanistan surrounding the election results, as it reaffirmed that the reconciliation process in the war-torn country must remain "Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled" that respects the "agreed red lines".
India would never endorse treating the Afghanistan government on par with elements of the erstwhile Taliban regime, said India's Permanent Representative to UN Asoke Kumar Mukerji.
"I cannot hide the fact that we are concerned at the present political impasse in Afghanistan surrounding the election results," Mukerji said in a Council debate on UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) here yesterday.
"We must not forget that the Afghan electorate braved threats from terrorist and extremist elements, to turn out in large numbers during the first and second rounds of voting," he said.
Mukerji expressed confidence that the two leading candidates in the Afghan elections would respect the wish of the Afghan people, who braved threats from terrorists and extremist elements to vote in the elections, for a peaceful stable and democratic country.
He added that the political transition which would be completed with the appointment of a new President will be an "important milestone" in Afghan history.
"We sincerely hope that political impasse is over without any further delay and the acceptance of result by the leaders would provide a solid foundation on which a new chapter of Afghan history would be written," he said.
On the reconciliation process, India reiterates that process must remain "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled" while respecting the agreed red lines.
Stressing that India is "undeterred" by the "cowardly" attack in May against the Indian Consulate in Herat, Mukerji said India does not have the "luxury of an exit strategy in Kabul."
The attack against the consulate reflected the "deep designs of the forces of terrorism" which want to eliminate institutions that believe in the promotion of peace and stability in Afghanistan, he said, adding that India would stand with the Afghan people in assisting them in the path of growth and prosperity.
Noting that the security situation in Afghanistan remains fragile, Mukerji cited UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's latest report which said the security incidents in the south, southeast and east accounted for 65.3 per cent of total incidents.
"The international community must render its full support to Afghanistan to defeat the forces of terrorism which do not want peace in Afghanistan," Mukerji said.
Given the fragile economic situation in Afghanistan, including a precipitous drop in growth, decline in investor confidence and poor revenue performance, Mukerji said India stands ready to assist the country in its path of economic recovery.
"We must not allow our attention to get diverted from the equally important issue of economic development in Afghanistan," he said.
Mukerji termed the role of the UN mission in Afghanistan as "important" in supporting the activities of new political institutions of the Afghan State.
He, however, added that UNAMA must also focus on the important role of ensuring delivery of valuable humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan.
Noting that Afghanistan is at a "historic cross road", Mukerji acknowledged the leadership shown by President Hamid Karzai over the last 13 years that has brought Afghanistan to this "historic juncture".