United Nations: As coalition forces prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, India has warned that the country continues to face an "existential threat" from terrorism, with the terror infrastructure drawing ideological and financial support from "beyond its borders".
"The syndicate of terrorism which includes elements of the al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other terrorist and extremist groups, is active in the region and is far from being isolated," India`s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said at a UN Security Council debate on the `Situation in Afghanistan` here yesterday.
Puri said Afghanistan continues to face an existential threat from terrorism as the "infrastructure of terror is still intact in the region drawing upon ideological, financial and logistical support from beyond its borders".
The security situation in the country also continues to remain fragile even as the NATO forces are on track to draw down from Afghanistan.
"This has accentuated the uncertainties with the risk of creating a security vacuum coupled with an economic downturn in Afghanistan, which could undermine the hard fought gains we have achieved together during the last decade.
"The security transition must ensure lasting peace and security for all sections of Afghan society," Puri added.
Afghanistan`s Presidential and Provincial elections in April, 2014 would be another important step in consolidation of the democracy in Afghanistan.
Puri said the council renewed the mandate of the al Qaeda sanctions regimes two days ago, adding that in the functioning of these sanction regimes, it is important to ensure that the fight against counter-terrorism should not be diluted.
"The linkages between al-Qaeda and Taliban are real and cannot be wished away," he said.