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November 14, 2001
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There is no moderate Taleban: India

Dharam Shourie in United Nations

India has cautioned the international community against accepting the concept of 'moderate Taleban', and asked the Security Council to ensure that the Afghan militia are completely eradicated.

"There is no moderate Taliban just as there is no good terrorist," Indian Ambassador Kamalesh Sharma told the Council on Tuesday.

Participating in the debate on the situation in Afghanistan, he likened the Taleban to cancer and said any good doctor would attest that if it is not extirpated fully and to the last cell, it comes back working its malign influence.

"It (Taleban) has no place in any future dispensation in Afghanistan, in any guise whatsoever," he added and expressed India's full support in eradicating the terrorist networks.

Without naming any country, he attacked attempts by Islamabad to have a veto over the future government in Afghanistan and demanded that the new political set up should be decided by Afghans themselves and not imposed from outside in the interest of peace and security.

The Indian Ambassador flayed Islamabad for foisting 'obscurantist, bigoted, blinkered and sadistic regime' on Afghanistan to 'sub-serve its self-serving agenda'.

He sought a major role for the UN in the international efforts to establish a broad-based government and reconstruction process in the war ravaged country.

Sharma also called for establishing a new international framework, which would include countries that have a 'legitimate and benign' interest in, and influence on, developments in Afghanistan.

"We see no reason why this new framework should not be supported as those who backed and sustained Taleban until recently now find it expedient to disown it, also affirm that they have changed their spots and subscribe to the need for a broad-based, multi-ethnic and representative government in Afghanistan. This would be a litmus test of their sincerity," he said.

To accept veto by any country would be wrong both in principle and practice, Sharma said. It is for the country and its people, he added, to determine their own government.

"Would those who would claim a veto over the new government in Afghanistan give the same right over their own government to Afghan people or its government?" he asked.

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
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