Afghanistan requires “unhindered humanitarian assistance” and “inclusive government,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the extraordinary meeting of the G20 leaders on Afghanistan held on Tuesday. Mr. Modi reiterated India’s call for shaping international response on the Afghan crisis along the conditions laid down in the UN Security Council Resolution 2593, and urged for preserving the gains of the last two decades in Afghanistan.
“Participated in the G20 Summit on Afghanistan. Stressed on preventing Afghan territory from becoming the source of radicalisation and terrorism. Also called for urgent and unhindered humanitarian assistance to Afghan citizens and an inclusive administration. A unified international response based on UNSC Resolution 2593 is necessary to improve the situation in Afghanistan,” said Mr. Modi in a set of social media messages after he attended the G20 meeting, called to discuss the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
Over 500 projects
Addressing the virtual meeting, Mr. Modi referred to good people-to-people contact between India and Afghanistan and informed the Italy-led deliberation that India has implemented over 500 development projects in Afghanistan in the last two decades. The Prime Minister supported the role of the United Nations in solving the current situation in Afghanistan and also highlighted the harmony between the UN and the G20 in this regard.
“The Prime Minister also underlined the need to ensure that the Afghan territory does not become a source of radicalisation and terrorism, regionally or globally. He emphasised on the need to ensure our joint fight against the nexus of radicalisation, terrorism and the smuggling of drugs and arms in the region,” said an official statement released after Mr. Modi’s speech at the meeting.
The call for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan has become stronger in recent weeks as the country faces a grim winter ahead because of food and medicine shortages. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had called for similar humanitarian measures in his speech at a high level meeting in the UN last month on the situation in Afghanistan. Taliban’s foreign affairs spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said on Monday the Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) would protect those who wish to help the country at present. “We are committed to protecting humanitarian workers and diplomats so that they are able to work in a safe environment,” said Mr. Balkhi after a delegation led by the Taliban Foreign Minister, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, met with Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Jasper Weick in Doha on Monday.
India’s position on Afghanistan articulated by Mr. Modi on Tuesday shows consistency as India has not yet recognised the Taliban set-up in Kabul as a legitimate government of Afghanistan. However, Germany became the latest G20 member-state to engage Mr. Muttaqi who has been holding several high profile meetings in Kabul and abroad.
Mr. Balkhi said in a social media message that both sides agreed to continue such meetings. A statement from the German Foreign Office, however, stated that future interactions will depend on the Taliban’s actions.