June 2, 2023


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India ends UNSC Presidency with resolution on Afghanistan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31

A divided UN Security Council adopted a resolution late on Monday night asking the Taliban to allow safe passage for those seeking to leave Afghanistan and demanding that it should not harbor groups that threaten or attack any country or to shelter and train terrorists.

With abstentions by China and Russia, the other 13 members, including India and the US, voted in favor of UNSC Resolution 2593 which specifically mentioned Lashkr-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, etc., that are still listed as terrorists by the UNSC.

The Resolution did not mention the proposal backed by France for the creation of a safe zone in Kabul. It was tabled by Permanent Members the US, France and the UK. Russia and China objected to the exclusion of groups like ISIL and East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

India was in continuous touch over the last few days with key members of the UNSC on this matter. It is also significant that the Resolution has declared that the Security Council decides to remain seized of the matter, said highly placed sources here.

The Resolution addresses India’s immediate concerns about facilitating travel from Afghanistan, including Kabul Airport. This will cover Indian nationals stranded in the country as well as Afghan nationals, including minorities, who wish to travel to India, they said.

The Resolution, which had 13 votes in favor and abstentions by Russia and China, also stressed the importance of upholding human rights, reaching an inclusive political settlement and combating terrorism.

“We believe that this resolution has an important bearing on the course of developments in Afghanistan. It is a matter of satisfaction that our Presidency could contribute to serious international consideration of this key issue,” said sources here. India’s one-month term as UNSC President ended on Wednesday during which there were three statements on Afghanistan. As the President of the UNSC, India felt it important that there should be a Resolution as well, said the sources.

India highlighted its key role in the wording on Afghan territory not being used for terrorist actions in other countries and US President Joe Biden underlined the Resolution’s commitments on safe and delivery of humanitarian assistance.

There was no provision in the Resolution to penalise the Taliban if it failed to allow departures from Kabul airport or harbored terrorist inimical groups to other countries.