India has sounded a cautionary note amid efforts by the West to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

Pointing out that al-Qaeda and Taliban still enjoy linkages and are far from having been defeated, New Delhi has warned they could re-emerge if the draw-down by the western security forces leaves a vacuum and sanctions against them eased.

Speaking during a discussion on Afghanistan at the U.N., Permanent Representative Hardeep Puri pointed out that though there had been progress in the social and economic spheres, Afghanistan continues to face an existential threat from terrorism.

The infrastructure of terror is still intact, the “syndicate of terrorism’’ which includes elements of the al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist and extremist groups, is active and far from being isolated.

Security situation

While the security situation continues to remain fragile, ISAF draw down has proceeded apace. This has accentuated the uncertainties with the risk of creating a security vacuum coupled with an economic downturn in Afghanistan, which could undermine the hard fought gains we have achieved together during the last decade,’’ cautioned Mr. Puri.

With the U”.N. having renewed the mandate of sanctions regimes against these organisations just two days ago, Mr. Puri underlined that it is important to ensure that the fight against counter-terrorism should not be diluted.

“The linkages between al-Qaeda and Taliban are real and cannot be wished away. The recently adopted Security Council resolutions clearly recognise this aspect and have tasked the Monitoring Team to report periodically on this matter.’’