Afghanistan has asked the international community to address the state elements who orchestrate attacks from “outside” its borders, as it slammed the supporters of terrorist groups in Pakistan for their “cowardly behaviour” of targeting civilians.
“Growing violent extremism and terror worldwide is proof that the current pace of counter-terrorism efforts is at best, lax, compared to the magnitude of the threat,” Afghan envoy to the UN Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal said at a United Nations Security Council debate here.
“Current efforts remain scattered, slow, and at times static, and have proven incapable to match the sophistication and ever-changing tactics of global terror for its eventual defeat, as far as Afghanistan’s experience is concerned,” he said yesterday.
Citing the recent attacks on police recruits, civilian demonstrations and university students, Saikal said the “savage attacks in populated urban centres showcased the cowardly behaviour of terrorist groups and their supporters to compensate for their so-called spring offensive losses.”
Saikal noted that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had in August called Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff and asked for “serious and practical” measures against the organisers of the attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul.
“We have evidence that most of these attacks were orchestrated outside Afghanistan,” he said adding that last week, Afghanistan seized two trailer trucks entering the country from Pakistan with 35,700 kg of ammonium nitrate.
“Let us take a second to imagine the magnitude of devastation, had the attack(s) been carried out against us or our allies,” he said.
“As a strategic imperative, we must move beyond rhetoric and address the enablers of terrorism, including the role of state elements in orchestrating and facilitating the growth of terror. We need to review the state of UN counter-terrorism efforts to identify and address gaps in the implementation, and assess what needs to be done by relevant UN agencies to achieve results and effectively fulfil their mandates,” he said.
He added that despite Afghanistan’s constant outreach and efforts at a Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), Pakistan has not utilised the opportunity to play “genuine” peacemaker.
“It deserves attention that based on the QCG roadmap they must take necessary measures against irreconcilable Taliban elements to win international community’s due recognition as a serious and genuine partner in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
Saikal asked the Pakistani government to choose the “path of cooperation” and trust-building.
“As a principle component of our foreign policy, we are convinced that regional cooperation and multilateralism are catalysts for peace and prosperity,” he said adding that Kabul looks forward to the Afghanistan-India-US trilateral meeting to be held on the margins of the ongoing 71st session of the UN General Assembly.
He thanked India for the USD 1 billion of aid promised towards development in Afghanistan.
Highlighting the challenges facing Afghanistan due to decades-long violence and instability, Special Representative of the Secretary-General Tadamichi Yamamoto told members of the Security Council during the briefing that avenues for peace there must be explored with utmost urgency and seriousness.
“As one of the world’s most aid-dependent countries, it will be difficult for Afghanistan to achieve self-reliance as long as there is conflict,” he said.
“Conflict diverts resources, which would be better spent on developing Afghanistan and helping its people. Peace is therefore a requirement,” he underlined.
Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), went on to stress the need to resolve political tensions between two senior leaders in the Government to ensure that it is stable.
“No effective policies are possible if the Government is internally divided,” noting that tensions had surfaced, with public criticism by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah about what he viewed as the incomplete implementation of the political agreement of 2014.
Yamamoto noted that the two leaders have met several times since then to try to identify the issues and to seek solutions.
He said efforts are still under way, and further meetings are expected.
He nevertheless called on the leaders to show to the people of Afghanistan and to the international community that they are able to govern effectively.