Continuing instability, fundamentalism in Afghanistan will embolden terrorist, extremist ideologies across world: Modi


PTI, Sep 17, 2021, 7:30 PM IST

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the global community should decide “collectively” and “thoughtfully” on recognising the new set-up in Afghanistan in view of questions over its acceptability as the change of power was not “inclusive” even as he warned that continuing instability and fundamentalism in that country will embolden terrorist and extremist ideologies all over the world.

In a virtual address at a meeting on Afghanistan of the heads of state of the SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, Modi said the Afghan soil should not be used to spread terrorism in any country and called for having a code of conduct to prevent cross-border terrorism and terror financing.

He said the recent developments in Afghanistan will have the “greatest impact” on neighbouring countries like India and that there is a need for regional focus and cooperation in dealing with the issue.

Without naming the Taliban, the prime minister mentioned four specific issues covering key concerns relating to the developments in Afghanistan and the need for the international community to look at them.

The first issue, he said relates to the questions over the change of power as it was not inclusive and took place without negotiation.

“This raises questions about the acceptability of the new system. Representation of all sections of Afghan society, including women and minorities, is also important,” Modi said.

“And therefore, it is essential that the global community decides on the recognition of the new system in a thoughtful and collective manner,” he said.

Talking about the second issue, the prime minister said if instability and fundamentalism continue in Afghanistan, it will lead to terrorist and extremist ideologies all over the world.

“Other extremist groups may also be encouraged to seek power through violence. We (all countries) have been victims of terrorism in the past. And so together we must ensure that the soil of Afghanistan is not used to spread terrorism in any country,” he said.

Modi said the SCO member countries should develop strict and common norms on this subject and they can also become a template for global anti-terror cooperation.

These norms, he said should be based on the principle of zero tolerance towards terrorism, noting that a “code of conduct” should be brought up to prevent activities like cross-border terrorism and terror financing.

“And there should also be a system of their enforcement,” he added.

Explaining the third point, Modi said developments in Afghanistan could lead to an uncontrolled flow of drugs, illegal weapons and human trafficking and that a large amount of advanced weapons remain in that country.

“Due to these, there will be a risk of instability in the entire region. The RATS (Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure) mechanism of SCO can play a positive role in monitoring these flows and enhancing information sharing,” Modi said.

He said India is presiding over the council of this institution from this month and that it has developed proposals for practical cooperation on the matter.

The fourth topic of concern, Modi said, is the serious humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

He said the economic woes of the Afghan people are increasing due to the interruption of financial and trade flows amid the challenge of COVID-19.

Modi said India has been Afghanistan”s trusted partner for many years for development and humanitarian assistance in a number of sectors including education, health and capacity building.

“Even today we are eager to deliver food items, medicines to our Afghan friends,” he said.

The prime minister said there was a need to work together to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches Afghanistan in a relentless manner.

“The Afghan and Indian people have had a special relationship for centuries,” he said, adding India will have full cooperation in every regional or global initiative to help the Afghan society.

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