Peace in Afghanistan can be brought by denying safe havens to terrorist groups: Akbaruddin

New York [United States], Dec.20 : India's permanent envoy to the U.N. Syed Akbaruddin has said that sustainable peace can be brought in Afghanistan by denying safe havens to the terrorist groups in its neighbourhood.

"If we are to bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan, groups and individuals that perpetrate violence against the people and the Government of Afghanistan must be denied safe havens and sanctuaries in Afghanistan's neighbourhood," he said.

Speaking on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security in U.N.

Security Council, Akbaruddin said that India welcomes the key message of Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Yamamoto highlighting the positive and supportive role that regional countries and neighbours of Afghanistan need to play.

"It is apparent that our efforts at rebuilding institutions, infrastructure and networks in Afghanistan are being undermined; schools are being destroyed; mosques bombarded and religious gatherings targeted," said Akbaruddin.

He said that it was evident that those who perpetrate these heinous crimes have survived and thrived only with support and sanctuaries on the outside.

"We need to address, as an imperative, the support that terrorist organizations like the Taliban, Haqqani Network, Daesh, Al-Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed which operate entirely outside the fabric of international law draw from their shadowy supporters outside Afghanistan," he said.

Highlighting the outcome of the Heart of Asia Ministerial meeting held earlier this month, Akbaruddin said it was a mark of India's and the international community's commitment to Afghanistan.

"A key focus during India's co-chairmanship of the Heart of Asia process has been to bring to centre-stage the importance of connectivity for Afghanistan," he said.

He said that a well-connected Afghanistan will be economically vibrant, prosperous and politically stable.

Akbaruddin said a milestone was achieved earlier this year, by signing the trilateral transit and transport agreement among India, Iran and Afghanistan for provision of year-round and reliable connectivity to Afghanistan via Chahbahar in Iran.

He said there are many promising projects like the TAPI gas pipeline, TAT railway line and the CASA 1000 and to achieve the benefits of these projects it is essential that trade and transit agreements that Afghanistan enters into are fully activated.

He asserted that a well connected Afghanistan will have great potential to engage the energies of its youth and attract its talents back from foreign lands and denying such an opportunity and connectivity to Afghanistan is to deny Afghanistan all opportunities of prosperity and peace that this entails.

Akbaruddin emphasized on the need to replace the connectivity that terror networks have established by creating roads, trade networks and ideas for peace and prosperity.

"Afghanistan's National Unity Government has India's full support for strengthening its defense capabilities to fight terrorism directed against it.

We believe that the path to reconciliation in Afghanistan should be through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process in adherence to the internationally accepted red lines, reflecting the aspirations of the people of Afghanistan," he said.

Source: ANI