UNITED NATIONS: India has said it will not be deterred by terror attacks against its people and interests in Afghanistan, as it assured the war-torn nation of its continued support during the period of transition.
India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Manjeev Singh Puri told the UN Security Council that the security situation in Afghanistan is “fragile” due to the continued threat of terrorist and extremist groups.
Puri cited last month’s “condemnable” attack on the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad in which several Afghan security personnel guarding the Consulate were injured and several innocent Afghan citizens, including 10 children, were killed.
“India does not have an ‘exit policy’ in Afghanistan and will not be deterred by such attacks. We do not see this attack as only aimed against India, but also against the efforts of the Afghan people to overcome the tragic consequences of the last several decades of war and conflict,” he said at a Security Council debate on UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) here on Thursday.
Terming as “merciless” the killing of India-born author Sayed Kamala Sushmita Banerjee, he said the incident reflects the “intolerance” of those who oppose Afghanistan’s socio-economic development as also the challenge that lies ahead.
Banerjee, 49, was married to an Afghan businessman and recently moved to Afghanistan to live with him. She was killed by a renegade Taliban militia in eastern Paktika province.
Taliban militants arrived at her home in the provincial capital of Kharana, tied up her husband and other members of the family, took Banerjee out and shot her.
The militants dumped Banerjee’s body near a religious school, police said.
Noting that Afghanistan is going through critical security, political and economic transitions, Puri said a peaceful and free election process that elects an Afghan President acceptable to the people of Afghanistan “remains the key.”
He said the presidential polls in 2014 would be a “significant” step towards the political reconstruction effort in Afghanistan which “must always remain Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.”
India called on the international community to support the Afghan authorities and strongly oppose any outside effort to derail the process.
Press Trust of India