Under India’s presidency, UN Security Council drops Taliban reference on ‘supporting terrorism’
This is being seen as an indication of the member nations’ change of approach towards the insurgent group.
The United Nations Security Council has dropped a reference to the Taliban from its statement condemning terror attacks in Kabul.
In earlier statements, the UNSC had urged the Taliban as well as other Afghan groups not to support terrorists. But in the August 27 statement, the UNSC removed Taliban and just said that “no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country”.
The dropping of Taliban’s reference from the UN body’s statement is being seen as an indication of the member nations’ change of approach towards the insurgent group.
On August 16, a day after the Taliban swept to power in the country, the UNSC said: “The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan to ensure the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any country, and that neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country.”
However, in the August 27 statement, the part “and that neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan group or individual” was rephrased to: “and that no Afghan group or individual”. The rest of the paragraph was reproduced as in the earlier statement.
Both statements were issued under India’s presidency and signed by India’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, TS Tirumurti. India had taken over the body’s rotating presidency earlier this month.
India’s former Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin pointed out the change in stance on Saturday. “In diplomacy…A fortnight is a long time…The ‘T’ word is gone,” he tweeted. “Compare the marked portions of UN Security Council statements issued on 16 August & on 27 August…”
The UN Security Council’s statement on August 27 was in response to the bombing outside Kabul airport that killed at least 170 people. The Islamic State of Khorasan, an affiliate of terror group ISIS, took responsibility for the attack.
The dropping of Taliban’s reference from the UN body’s statement is being seen as an indication of the member nations’ change of approach towards the insurgent group. The change in statement came as a result of Taliban’s cooperation in evacuation of foreigners and Afghans from the country, The Indian Express reported, citing unidentified officials.
Most countries and international organisations have so far not recognised the Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
However, after the Kabul bombing, General Frank McKenzie, chief of the US Central Command, said that his commanders were working with Taliban fighters to prevent further attacks, according to AP. US President Joe Biden also said that there was no evidence of collusion between the Taliban and the ISIS affiliate.
The Indian government has not officially recognised the Taliban rule. On Friday, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said that it would be “jumping the gun” to take a decision on recognising a Taliban government in Afghanistan at this point.