India, US call on Taliban to adhere to commitments, say Afghan soil mustn’t be used to attack any country

Washington: India and the US have called on the Taliban to adhere to its commitments and respect the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children and minority groups, and asked the new rulers in Kabul to make sure that the war-torn country’s territory is never again used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists.

In a US-India Joint Leaders’ Statement issued after the first in-person bilateral meeting between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House on Friday, the two leaders underscored the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan.

The two leaders resolved that the Taliban must abide by UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021) which demands that Afghan territory must never again be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist attacks, and underscored the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, according to the joint statement.

The UN Security Council resolution 2593 on Afghanistan, adopted under India’s Presidency of the 15-nation Council in August, had demanded that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterated the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and noted the Taliban’s relevant commitments.

President Biden and Prime Minister Modi called on the Taliban to adhere to these and all other commitments, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals and to respect the human rights of all Afghans, including women, children, and members of minority groups, the statement said.

The Taliban, which took control of Kabul on August 15, have put in place a hardline interim 33-member Cabinet that has no women and includes UN-designated terrorists. The Taliban last ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

The two leaders also emphasised on the importance of efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to allow full, safe, direct and unhindered access for the UN, its specialised agencies and implementing partners, and all humanitarian actors engaged in humanitarian relief activity, including with respect to internally displaced persons, it said.

Reflecting their long-term commitment to promoting development and economic opportunity for the Afghan people, they determined to continue to closely coordinate and to work jointly with partners toward an inclusive and peaceful future for all Afghans, the statement added.

The UNSC resolution had condemned in the strongest terms the deplorable attacks of August 26 near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, which were claimed by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, an entity affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh). The resolution took note of the Taliban’s condemnation of this attack.

On Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told the G20 nations that the Taliban’s commitment not to allow the use of Afghanistan’s soil for terrorism in any manner should be implemented and the world expects a broad-based, inclusive process that involves representation from all sections of the Afghan society.

Jaishankar, in his address at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Afghanistan which was held on the sidelines of the high-level 76th session of the UN General Assembly, had said that the international community must come together in response to humanitarian needs. Assistance providers must be accorded unimpeded, unrestricted and direct access.

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan last month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on May 1. On August 15, the capital city of Kabul fell to the insurgents.

The Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the last holdout province of Panjshir on September 6, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after capturing Kabul.

Earlier this month, Afghanistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Ghulam Isaczai said that the government announced by the Taliban in Afghanistan is anything but inclusive and the Afghan people will not accept a governing structure that excludes women and minorities.

He also called on the world organisation to reject the reinstatement of the Islamic Emirate.

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