General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Briefing on Afghanistan

[06 August 2021, 1000 hours]


Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations



I would like to thank SRSG Deborah Lyons for her detailed briefing. I thank the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan for his statement. I would also like to thank Ms. Shaharzad Akbar for her briefing.


2. As a neighbour of Afghanistan, the current situation prevailing in the country is of great concern to us. The violence shows no sign of abating. The report of the UN makes it clear that civilian casualties and targeted killings have reached record levels. There have been targeted attacks on religious and ethnic minorities, girl students, Afghan security forces, Ulemas, women occupying positions of responsibility, journalists, civil rights activists and the youth. As we saw recently, even the UN compound has not been spared; the residence of the Defence Minister of Afghanistan has been attacked; an Indian journalist was murdered while he was reporting; and the fighting continues in Helmand, Herat and elsewhere. More than 100 Afghan civilians were mercilessly killed in Spin Boldak. The rapid deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan constitutes a serious threat to regional peace and stability.


3. It is, therefore, time for the international community and, in particular, this Council to take stock of the situation, and decide on actions that would help bring a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire and ensure an immediate cessation of violence.  Anything short of this will constitute a serious threat to regional peace and security.


4. I would like to recall here what our External Affairs Minister said to this Council in June: A durable peace in Afghanistan requires a genuine “double peace”. That is, peace within Afghanistan and peace around Afghanistan. It requires harmonizing the interests of all, both within and around the country.


5. India has been supportive of all the efforts being made to accelerate the dialogue between the Afghan government and the Taliban, including the intra-Afghan negotiations. If the peace process is to be successful, then it is necessary to ensure that the Taliban engage in negotiations in good faith, eschew the path of   violence, severe ties with the Al Qaeda and other terrorist organisations, and fully commit itself towards reaching a political solution. Violence and military threat cannot be used to strengthen the negotiating position. A tangible demonstration of this commitment is required.


6. India wishes to see an independent, peaceful, sovereign, democratic, stable and prosperous Afghanistan. I would like to reiterate our support for an inclusive, Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process. Any political arrangement or settlement in Afghanistan must ensure that the gains of the last two decades are protected, and not reversed. These gains are non-negotiable. It should, therefore, preserve the constitutional democratic framework and ensure the protection of the rights of women, children and minorities. Any regime devoid of legitimacy in Afghanistan would find it difficult to garner much needed humanitarian and developmental assistance from the international donor community. We, as the international community, cannot afford to set the clock back. The future of Afghanistan cannot be its past.


7. We support a leading role for the United Nations and call on the Secretary General to take an initiative towards finding a lasting and durable outcome.  We welcome any move towards a genuine political settlement that leads to these objectives. The only way forward are negotiations that will provide an acceptable compromise reflecting the Doha Process, the Moscow Format and the Istanbul Process.


8. For enduring peace in Afghanistan, terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries in the region must be dismantled immediately and terrorist supply chains disrupted. It needs to be ensured that Afghanistan’s neighbours and the region are not threatened by terrorism, separatism and extremism. There needs to be zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It is equally important to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan is not used by terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country. Those providing material and financial support to terrorist entities must be held accountable. We, as the international community, must ensure that our commitments to Afghanistan, including to its various institutions, are maintained.


9. On India’s part, we will continue to stand with Afghanistan in ensuring that peace and stability is restored through a legitimate and transparent democratic process that is essential for the long-term stability of Afghanistan and the region. We will continue to provide all support to Afghanistan in realizing their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future, free of terror, where the rights and interests of all sections of the Afghan society are promoted and protected.