Afghan continues to face existential threat from terror: India
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As US-led coalition forces prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014, India has said the war-torn country continues to face an "existential threat" as infrastructure of terror is intact in the region drawing ideological, financial and logistical support "from beyond its borders."
"The syndicate of terrorism which includes elements of the al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other terrorist and extremist groups, is active in the region and is far from being isolated," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said at a UN Security Council debate on the 'Situation in Afghanistan' here yesterday.
Puri said Afghanistan continues to face an existential threat from terrorism as the "infrastructure of terror is still intact in the region drawing upon ideological, financial and logistical support from beyond its borders".
The security situation in the country also continues to remain fragile even as the NATO forces are on track to draw down from Afghanistan.
"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. The security transition must ensure lasting peace and security for all sections of Afghan society," Puri added.
Afghanistan's Presidential and Provincial elections in April 2014 would be another important step in consolidation of the democracy in Afghanistan.
Puri said the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of the al-Qaeda sanctions regimes two days ago, adding that in the functioning of these sanctions regimes, 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," he said.
As Afghanistan takes forward the task of national reconciliation, Puri said India fully supports the efforts for regional confidence-building as a critical component of international efforts to help the country.