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Intolerance and vandalism in Afghanistan of concern: India

The Karte Parwan gurdwara in Kabul. File   | Photo Credit: AFP

Reports of intolerance and vandalism raise concerns across the world and in India, said a senior official here on Thursday. Addressing the weekly press briefing, Official Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the international community continued to insist that the Taliban should fulfil the goals outlined in the UN Security Council Resolution 2593, which expects the Taliban to form an inclusive government and foster freedom and diversity.

“I would like to begin with UNSC Resolution 2593. This articulates and guides the collective approach of the global community towards Afghanistan. The resolution talks of ensuring that the Afghan territory is not used for terrorist acts, it talks of safe passage of Afghans and foreign nationals. The reports...of vandalism and intolerance obviously raise concerns, not just for us but across the world and it is important that the international community continues to insist on fulfilment of the goals outlined in the UN Security Council Resolution 2593,” said Mr. Bagchi in response to a question that asked for India’s response to reports of vandalism in a Sikh place of worship in Kabul.

A team of Taliban vigilantes entered the main gurdwara of Kabul and removed CCTV cameras on Tuesday. They also detained the local guards of the shrine for some time.

The reports from Kabul coincided with the news that Anas Haqqani, of Taliban-aligned Haqqani Network visited the tomb of Mahmoud of Ghazni who had invaded India and plundered the Somnath temple multiple times in the early medieval era. Mr /Haqqani had praised the Sultan for setting up an Islamic rule in the region. In response, Mr Bagchi reiterated that the the UNSC Resolution 2593 has asked Afghanistan to be shaped as a country that respects minorities and women.

India continues to maintain ambiguity towards the Taliban and has not yet responded to the Taliban’s communication to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to restart air services to Kabul. Mr. Bagchi said there is no update yet on the request. “It’s a complicated and sensitive matter,” he said, explaining that the air service could not be dealt with separately from ties between India and Afghanistan. India had not been able to fly evacuation flights since the situation in the capital city of Afghanistan became unstable in late August. Many Sikh and Hindu citizens of Afghanistan remain in Kabul and other Afghan cities.


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