Closest world support to save Afghan gains: India
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, addressing a meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG) on Afghanistan-Pakistan, said Afghanistan was at a critical juncture and required steadfast support from the international community.
The meeting was attended by representatives from 53 countries. Khurshid reiterated India’s support for peace and security in Afghanistan, saying what the country faced was not anymore intrinsic tribal differences of ethnic divisions but clearly terrorism and continuability of some armed opposition groups to launch attacks on innocent civilians and legitimate Afghan government.
The minister said international community’s focus must be curtailing and containing terrorist groups entering Afghanistan from outside.
There should not be a lack of will by international community to tackle the surge of terrorism and it should not be allowed to hide behind alibis and allow the achievements of 12 years to “go to waste” or “slip away“, he said.
“Nothing justifies terrorism and closest international cooperation is required to defeat this scourge,” he said, asserting “India is and will remain committed to Afghanistan for all times to come, even beyond 2014.”
US Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan-Pakistan Laurel Miller told a press conference in New Delhi the US had consistently maintained the BSA should be signed promptly and that her government strongly backed the peace process in Afghanistan. “Our position remains that this agreement should be signed promptly,” she said.
Laurel said a delay in signing of the pact would erode the confidence of the Afghan people as well as create uncertainty among the international community.
“If the agreement is not signed promptly, we, unfortunately, will be in a position in which we will need to plan for the possibility of having no military presence in Afghanistan after 2014. That is not an outcome that we desire.
“We very strongly support peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan and there is no genuine issue between us in terms of the objective,” she said.
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