India for strong measures to combat Taliban, Al Qaeda

October 16th, 2008 - 3:34 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanNew York, Oct 16 (IANS) India has advocated at the United Nations the imperative of implementing strong measures within Afghanistan to fight the resurgent Taliban and Al Qaeda while expanding “coordinated politico-military efforts” beyond Afghanistan. “We need to go much further in realising the well established objective of degrading the ability of the Taliban to fight while simultaneously denying safe-havens, finances and armaments,” Nirupam Sen, India’s permanent representative to the UN, told the Security Council Tuesday while intervening in the debate on the situation in Afghanistan.

He referred to the attack on the Indian mission in Kabul as well as attacks on civilians, humanitarian workers and UN convoys as underlining “the barbarity of the foe that we face”.

“The escalation in asymmetric attacks to include areas that were cleared of the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda is a deeply worrying sign,” he said.

Sen proposed a three-pronged strategy to bring stability back to Afghanistan after decades of conflict. Sustained international assistance for development and regional cooperation form the other two aspects of his strategy besides a full-spirited fight against terrorists.

Stating that capacity-building was a priority in India’s assistance projects in Afghanistan, Sen added that India had recently raised its commitment to Afghanistan to $ 1.2 billion.

“We are also pleased to have completed the Zaranj-Delaram highway, which is one of three major infrastructure projects India is undertaking in Afghanistan,” Sen pointed out.

The ambassador called for patience and perseverance because improvement in Afghanistan will “continue to take place sectorally, partially and sometimes even episodically”.

“It is for this reason that we reiterate the importance of an Afghan-led process of prioritisation of tasks,” he concluded.

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