India Warns Against Hurry in Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Friday, 30 September 2011, 10:14 Hrs
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UNITED NATIONS: Expressing concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, India warned against any "hurry" in withdrawing troops from the country, saying such a move should be done keeping in mind the ground realities and not just to meet any deadline.

"For peace, stability and security in Afghanistan, it is imperative that the ongoing transition must be linked to the ground realities rather than rigid timetables. This, the international community in its hurry to withdraw from a combat role in Afghanistan, will ignore at its own peril," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said.

Pointing out that extremist groups continue to attack high-security targets and assassinate important political figures such as former president Burhanudin Rabbani, Puri said gains on the security front cannot be consolidated unless the international community is able to firmly deal with safe havens for terrorist groups outside Afghanistan's borders.

He said the "syndicate of terrorism" including al-Qaida, LeT and other extremist groups operating from within and outside Afghan borders must be rooted out for stability in the country.

"For security and stabilisation of Afghanistan, it is important to isolate and root out the syndicate of terrorism which includes elements of the al-Qaida, Taliban, Laskar-e-Taiba and other terrorist and extremist groups operating from within and outside Afghanistan's borders," Puri said.

"These groups are ideologically and operationally fused and their bonds have strengthened over the years," Puri said.

Citing the UN Secretary General's report on Afghanistan, Puri said the average monthly number of security incidents this year is up 39 per cent as compared to the same period in 2010.

While the process of transition of security responsibilities to Afghan National Security Forces has commenced since July, 2011, it is "indeed worrisome that there has been no let up in terrorist violence."

These attacks point to a dangerous "osmosis of ideologies, ambitions, training and operations" among the syndicate of terrorism in the region with suicide terrorism as its main technique and targets not limited to Afghanistan, Puri added.

He reiterated India's commitment to partnering with the government and people of Afghanistan in building a peaceful, stable, democratic and pluralistic nation.
"We support further strengthening of the Afghan National Security Forces. We fully support an Afghan-led inclusive and transparent process of reconciliation."

It must be accompanied by an inclusive political process and intra-Afghan dialogue" which includes renunciation of violence, cutting of ties to terrorist groups and protections of human rights, including the rights of women, Puri said.

India's two billion dollar assistance to Afghanistan spans a plethora of economic and social development activities.
Source: PTI
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