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India attacks Pakistan for trying to enter peace deal with Taliban

Dharam Shourie at the United Nations | July 10, 2008 10:57 IST
Last Updated: July 10, 2008 11:12 IST


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Vowing to redouble its efforts to help Afghanistan as a response to the bombing of its embassy in Kabul, India has attacked Pakistan for trying to strike a deal with the local Taliban, saying such bargains "were undermining efforts to defeat terrorists in the war-ravaged country."

"Those who perpetrated this act and those who train and protect them and enable them to commit horrific acts of violence are no better than the basest criminals," India's United Nations Ambassador Nirpuam Sen told the Security Council in a hard hitting address.

India, he said, would not yield to those who commit these "barbaric acts" and to those responsible for "greater villainy of sheltering and enabling terrorists."

Four Indians, including a brigadier-ranked defence attache and an IFS officer, were among 41 killed in the suicide terrorist bombing on Monday.

"While mourning their loss, we believe we can best honour our fallen colleagues by redoubling our commitments to working with Afghanistan to secure stability and development of that country and consequently, in the region," Sen said.

Events on the ground, Sen emphasised, make it clear that that any listing of challenges before the Afghan people must begin with security.

"We cannot afford to slacken our resolve or our efforts in combating the forces of terrorism, extremism a crime wherever and in whatever forms these groups may take," Sen added.

It must be a collective effort, he said and in a veiled attack on Pakistan warned against sending mixed signals through "bargains for temporary a local peace while the rest of us contend with the consequences of such a deal."

Sen was obviously referring to the deals that the Pakistani government is trying to strike with Taliban and other extremist groups in the lawless frontier region and bordering Afghanistan which, analysts say, are giving the extremists much needed time to recoup and regroup and carry out raids across the border in Afghanistan.

"The rising trend of attacks, abductions and suicide bombings is also a sign that terrorist groups are emboldened by display of wavering confidence that such bargains imply and therefore hope to weaken our collective resolve," he said.

"We cannot have partial compromises with such forces and yet nurture hopes of prevailing in Afghanistan," Sen bluntly told the Council.

The Indian ambassador also stressed the need for the international community to given an equal attention to the development and capacity building.

"To achieve sustainable success over the long term on both fronts, the common denominator is capacity building. Thus far, our collective in this vital aspect has been episodic and inadequate. We do need to do better expeditiously," Sen added.

It is for this reason, he said, India has made capacity-building a priority element in all its efforts in Afghanistan, even in infrastructure projects.

In this context, Sen also called for strengthening the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan by providing it enough material and human resources.

"Not only does UN need these resources on exceptional basis, it needs these exceptionally soon. The time for us to empower UNAMA is now," he stressed.

Sen warned the international community against trying to resolve all of Afghanistan's problems at once or setting "unrealistic benchmarks" or "unrealistic objectives" that are desirable for us but less so far the very people we seek to
help."

"While the international community collectively repeats commitments underscoring the importance of such a demand-driven approach, greater efforts are required on the ground to realise such approach. Without an Afghan-led process of discussing and finalising the priortisation of tasks, our collective efforts run the very real risk of losing legitimacy," Sen told the Council.

So far as India is concerned, Sen said it remains fully committed to implementing the inter-related security, political and developmental challenges facing Afghanistan.

"We remain unflinching in our commitment to reconstruction, development and capacity-building in Afghanistan. As one of Afghanistan's largest-building development partners, India remains willing to support UNAMA in improving donor cohesion, in support of Afghan-defined priorities," he added.




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