India calls for ‘verifiable actions’ to end terror safe havens, sanctuaries outside Afghanistan
Geneva (PTI) : India on Wednesday said that for sustainable peace, prosperity and stability in Afghanistan it is important that the world community continues to support the Afghan government and its defence forces to combat terror and ensure that “verifiable actions” are taken to end safe havens and sanctuaries outside the war-torn country.
Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said here that India supports all efforts for a political settlement in Afghanistan which are inclusive, promote unity, security, democracy and build a self-reliant and prosperous country.
He emphasised on the Afghan side having a greater responsibility in running and managing its own affairs.
“For sustainable peace, prosperity and stability it is equally important that the international community continue to support the Afghan government, the people and the National Defence Forces of Afghanistan to combat terror and violence imposed on them and ensure that verifiable actions are taken to end safe havens and sanctuaries outside Afghanistan,” Singh said in a veiled attack on Pakistan.
He was participating in the Ministerial Conference on Afghanistan in Geneva to evaluate and strategise on developmental policy achievements during the “transformation decade” (2015-24) for the war-torn country.
India, he said, has been engaged in a development partnership with Afghanistan and this was based on the objectives of building capacities for governance, training human resources, creating infrastructure, enhancing connectivity, and promoting trade and investment.
A robust bilateral development cooperation dialogue is in place to ensure that these are in consonance with National Peace and Development Framework and National Priority Programmes of Afghanistan, he added.
Condemning the “mindless terrorist violence” against the Afghan population, Singh said the people of Afghanistan yearn for peace, security and stability.
“India supports all efforts for a political settlement in Afghanistan which are inclusive, promotes unity, peace, security, democracy and builds a self-reliant and prosperous Afghanistan. It is important that all such efforts for peace and reconciliation should be Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled,” he said.
“The international community needs to continue to support the Afghan people and the government in their efforts so that there can be enduring peace, stability and end of terrorist violence,” he said.
Singh also reaffirmed India’s commitment to the rebuilding and reconstruction of Afghanistan. He also reiterated India’s development assistance commitment of over USD 3 billion to Afghanistan in keeping with Kabul’s priorities under its National Peace and Development Framework.
On the margins of the Geneva conference, Singh separately called on Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.
He also held bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of Norway and Hungary.
India also participated in the side meeting on the ‘Role of Regional Partners of Afghanistan’ on Tuesday.
Singh, on Tuesday, had participated in the high-level closed door dinner on ‘Peace in Afghanistan’ jointly organised by the Afghan government and the UN.
“The MoS stated that for enduring peace and stability, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries need to be eliminated and there is an imperative need for any political settlement to be free of external influence,” an MEA statement said.
A restricted breakfast meeting on Peace in Afghanistan was also jointly organised by the Afghan government and the UN on Wednesday.
In the breakfast meeting, Singh conveyed India’s support to efforts of the Afghan government in the peace and reconciliation process and the need for firm action by the international community against those who breed, support, sustain and sponsor terror and violence, the statement added.
At the conclusion of the conference, the Geneva Communique entitled ‘Securing Afghanistan’s Future: Peace, Self-Reliance and Connectivity’ along with the Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework document on deliverables was also adopted.