‘Militants in Afghanistan get support from beyond its borders’


'Militants in Afghanistan get support from beyond its borders'UNITED NATIONS: India has told the UN Security Council that terrorist groups threatening Afghanistan’s peace and stability continue to benefit from support from beyond its borders that enable them to survive despite immense military pressure.

India’s Acting Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Bhagwant Bishnoi said in a Security Council debate on the assistance mission for Afghanistan here yesterday that the international community cannot afford to lose sight of the fact that the main threat to peace and stability in Afghanistan is terrorism.

“That terrorist and extremists groups have continued to survive despite the immense military pressure that is being brought on them by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) only underscores the fact that these groups continue to benefit from support from beyond Afghanistan’s borders, and continue to access resources from transnational terrorist and criminal networks,” he said.

Referring to the terror attacks in Kabul, Sydney and Peshawar, Bishnoi said such incidents only underline the fact that “terrorists do not respect borders, and make no differentiation between states. They pose a common threat to humanity.”

Bishnoi reiterated India’s commitment to helping Afghanistan in its critical decade of transformation saying that a united, stable, prosperous and independent Afghanistan is in the interest of the region and the international community.

India is presently in discussion with the governments of Afghanistan and Iran to examine how the existing Port of Chabahar in Iran can be developed to support more effective transit agreements between Afghanistan and its immediate neighbors, he said.

“We feel that when this project takes off, there will be significant immediate gains for reconstruction activities in the western regions of Afghanistan,” he added. In today’s global economic situation when government budgets are strained, and when the sentiment of ‘aid fatigue’ exists in most traditional donor countries, Afghanistan’s economic transition will have to be primarily private sector led, he said.

“One of the consistent messages we are receiving from the private sector businesses that are serious about entering into the Afghan market is that while security is an issue that can at times, be managed, Afghanistan’s lack of connectivity to sea ports and to faster growing economic regions of Asia is an insurmountable constraint,” he said.

India also expressed alarm at statistics showing that the overall number of security incidents this year increased by 10.3 per cent compared to a similar period in 2013.

Bishnoi said the UN mission in Afghanistan has an important role to play in supporting the activities of new political institutions of the Afghan State.

“No other organization can represent, in full measure the international community’s concern for Afghanistan, and its vision for a peaceful, sovereign, independent and prosperous Afghanistan.

But UNAMA must also focus on the important role it plays in ensuring delivery of valuable humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan,” he said.–PTI