India highlights concerns over Pakistan-based terror groups at UNHRC meet on Afghanistan

New Delhi: At United Nations Human Rights Council meet on Afghanistan on Tuesday (August 24), India highlighted its concerns over Pakistan-based international terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) even as the situation in the country has deteriorated in last 10 days in the backdrop of the Taliban takeover.

India’s envoy to United Nations in Geneva, Indra Mani Pandey said, “Stability in Afghanistan is linked to the peace and security of the region.  We hope that the situation in Afghanistan does not pose a challenge to its neighbours and its territory is not used by terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) to threaten any other country.”

Since the Taliban takeover of the Afghan capital Kabul on August 15, the country has plunged into instability with thousands of people leaving the country.

Pandey hoped that “there is an inclusive and broad based dispensation which represents all sections of Afghan society” and “voices of Afghan women, aspirations of Afghan children and the rights of minorities must be respected”.

He explained, “A broad based representation would help the arrangement gain more acceptability and legitimacy.”

The international community has largely called for the same – an inclusive setup, one that is not dominated by one ethnicity but has representation from everyone given Afghanistan in an ethnically diverse country.

Calling, the “security situation precarious” and “grave humanitarian crisis unfolding”, Indian envoy to UN in Geneva said, “Everyone is concerned about the increasing violations of fundamental rights of Afghan citizens” and “Afghans are worried about whether their right to live with dignity would be respected.”

Heartbreaking visuals have emerged over the last few days from Afghanistan especially around the Kabul airport. The airport has been in a crisis situation as many are trying to flee the country.

India on its part has been evacuating hundreds of its nationals and many Afghan vulnerable groups like the minority Hindus and Sikhs. Over the last few days, India has brought more than 40 Afghan Sikhs to Delhi, three Guru Granth Sahib. Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and V Muraleedharan were at the airport to receive the holy books.

Indra Mani called on the international community to “ensure full support to the people of Afghanistan in their desire for peace, stability and security in the country and to enable all Afghans, including women, children and minorities, to live in peace and dignity.”

He also pointed out India’s contribution to the country in the last 20 years in terms of humanitarian assistance, capacity building and connectivity. Amid the COVID crisis, India sent 75,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan to strengthen food security during the pandemic.

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