New York City [US], September 27 (ANI): India's permanent representative to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj has reiterated the country's steadfast dedication to peace, stability and humanitarian support for Afghanistan.
In a UN Security Council briefing on Afghanistan on Wednesday, Kamboj highlighted three key observations regarding the situation in Afghanistan while drawing upon India's historical and civilisational ties with the Afghan people.
"At UNSC Briefing on Afghanistan, Amb @ruchirakamboj, our Permanent Representative, reaffirmed India's steadfast dedication to peace, stabilityhumanitarian support for our Afghan friends. India's commitment shines through educational scholarshipscollaborations with UN agencies," posted Permanent Mission of India to the UN on X.
"As Afghanistan's contiguous neighbour and a friend to its people, India has direct stakes in ensuring the return of peace and stability to the country," said Kamboj at the outset of her address.
She also said that India's collective approach to Afghanistan has been articulated in Security Council Resolution 2593, which was adopted on August 30, 2021, following the fall of Kabul and the subsequent Taliban takeover.
"In this regard, our common and immediate priorities include providing humanitarian assistance for the Afghan people, the formation of an inclusive and representative government structure, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, and preserving the rights of women, children and minorities," Kamboj added.
India's permanent representative to the UN also underscored India's commitment to helping Afghan people through educational scholarships and collaborations with UN agencies.
"Given the distressing humanitarian situation in the country, we need to prioritize humanitarian assistance to the people. India has delivered assistance to Afghanistan in the form of food grains, medicines, vaccines, disaster relief aid, winter clothing and materials for education," she said.
She said that India has continued scholarships to Afghan students. It has also partnered with the UN Office of Drugs and Crime in its humanitarian efforts, and our assistance will continue for the benefit of the people of Afghanistan," Khamboj said.
"We have collaborated with several UN agencies on the ground and will continue to do so for the welfare of the people of the country," she said.
She reaffirmed India's unwavering commitment to "keeping Afghanistan close to our hearts".
"Going forward, India will continue to raise its voice in support of the Afghan people. We believe that the pursuit of peace and stability in Afghanistan is an urgent and shared imperative that demands our collective dedication," said Kamboj.
Already grappling with poverty, Afghanistan found itself sinking further into destitution due to international isolation and the economic turmoil triggered by the Taliban's takeover in 2021.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported a staggering increase in poverty, with 97 per cent of Afghans living below the poverty line, a stark rise from 47 per cent in 2020, according to Amnesty International, an international non-governmental organisation focused on human rights, with its headquarters in the United KingdomThe absence of social safety nets forced desperate families into distressing measures such as child marriages and organ trafficking. Despite dire circumstances, the humanitarian aid provided fell far short of meeting the basic needs of the population.
The Afghan economy continued to suffer from the freezing of foreign reserves and the reduction of development assistance, punitive actions taken by the international community in response to the Taliban's ascent.
In 2022, most of the aid flowing into Afghanistan was humanitarian in nature, primarily aimed at averting starvation, with minimal support for other critical social services such as healthcare, employment, and education.
The mass exodus of skilled professionals-doctors, engineers, lawyers, teachers, and government officials-left these sectors severely under-resourced, exacerbating the country's woes.
The Taliban regime imposed increasingly draconian restrictions on women's rights, stifled media freedom, and curtailed freedom of expression. Institutions dedicated to safeguarding human rights were either severely restricted or completely shuttered. Peaceful protesters found themselves at the mercy of arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances.
Women's rights suffered relentless attacks, severely limiting their participation in public life. Shockingly, Afghanistan stood alone as the only country where girls were forbidden from attending secondary school. Almost all initiatives addressing gender-based violence, established during the previous government, were dismantled by the Taliban, leaving women and vulnerable populations even more vulnerable, Amnesty International reported. (ANI)