India on Friday told the UN Security Council “it is time” for it to speak “unequivocally against violence and terrorist forces and act against terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens”, and drew its attention during a discussion on Afghanistan to a South Asian neighbour from where terrorism has flowed into the region.
While there was consensus in the council on the need to combat terrorism in all forms and shapes, some of its members have sought to distinguish between terrorists to be condemned and fought and those that need to be defended.
China has done that time and again, extending its protective shield to Pakistan’s terror groups, which have targeted India to its east and Afghanistan to its west.
“It is time that the Security Council speaks unequivocally against violence and terrorist forces and acts against terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens,” T S Tirumurti, the Indian permanent representative, said during an “Aria formula meeting” on Afghanistan.
India participated in the discussion as an incoming member; it starts its eighth term as A non-permanent member in January.
“For durable peace in Afghanistan, we have to put an end to terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries operating across the Durand Line (which separates Afghanistan and Pakistan),” the diplomat said, adding, citing a UN report that pointed to the continued presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan, “For violence to end in Afghanistan, these terrorist supply chains must be broken.”
Though Tirumurti’s remarks were in the context of Afghanistan, they were relevant to the region.
India on Thursday apprehended four alleged operatives of Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based and -funded terrorist outfit founded by Masood Azhar, whose designation by the UNSC had been blocked by China for years, until it faced the combined force of other permanent members in 2019.
The top Indian diplomat at the UN reiterated India’s support for “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled” peace process, but also stressed that need for expressly calling attention to terrorism.
Tirumurti said, “There needs to be zero-tolerance of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Afghanistan can succeed only when terrorism no longer flows across the Durand Line. Terror and violence cannot be the instrument to shape Afghanistan’s future or dictate the choices Afghans make. It is important to ensure that no one provides sanctuary to terrorists who threaten Afghanistan or any other country in the region. Those who do so must be held accountable.”