India on Thursday said its special relationship with the Afghan people and the UN Security Council resolution demanding that Afghan territory should not be used to attack any country would continue to guide its approach towards Afghanistan. Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in Rajya Sabha that as a contiguous neighbour and long-standing partner of Afghanistan, India is concerned about recent developments in that country. Replying to a question, he said India remains engaged with the international community and regional partners on Afghanistan.
“Our special relationship with the Afghan people and UNSC Resolution 2593 would continue to guide India’s approach to Afghanistan,” Muraleedharan said. “In this endeavour, India has committed to provide 50,000 MT of wheat and life-saving drugs to the Afghan people as humanitarian assistance,” he said.
The UNSC resolution, adopted on August 30 under India’s presidency of the global body, talked about the need for upholding human rights in Afghanistan, demanded that Afghan territory should not be used for terrorism and that a negotiated political settlement should be found out to the crisis. Muraleedharan also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s participation at the SCO-CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation) Summit on Afghanistan as well as the G-20 leaders’ summit on the Afghan crisis.
The minister said India has supported a pivotal role of the UN in Afghanistan. Muraleedharan also referred to the India-hosted regional dialogue on Afghanistan on November 10 that was attended by NSAs of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “The dialogue resulted in the Delhi Declaration, which reflected the ‘regional consensus’ on major issues of regional stability and security,” he said.
“All sides agreed on the need to extend humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, accepted the central role of the UN, emphasised the necessity of a truly representative and inclusive government in Afghanistan and reiterated that Afghan territory should not become home to terror groups,” he added. Muraleedharan said after the fall of Kabul, India operated a number of special Indian Air Force and Air India flights under ‘Operation Devi Shakti’ to evacuate 565 stranded Indians and Afghan nationals from Afghanistan. “A 24×7 Special Afghanistan Cell was set up in the Ministry of External Affairs to facilitate repatriation and other requests from Afghanistan,” he said.