No military solution for Afghanistan dilemma: UN envoy
AT-KABUL: The United Nations Security Council highlighted Afghanistan’s security challenges and other important issues including hidden agendas, the peace process and the ever-increasing necessity for regional and global cooperation.
Mahmoud Saikal, Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative in the United Nations has official complained to the United Nations Security Council against territorial integrity violations by Pakistan.
“Against this backdrop, in February, a series of unfortunate terrorist attacks in Pakistan killed dozens and wounded many more innocent men, women, and children. As is the case, Afghans always share the pain and anguish of our Pakistani brothers and sisters.”
He furthered, however, the Government of Pakistan, immediately and without any regard for an investigative process or clear facts, blamed Afghanistan for the attacks and resorted to increased breaches of our territorial integrity, the closing of the main border crossings, blockading trade and transit, and harassing our nationals traveling to or living in their country. Such measures constitute a clear violation of principles of WTO and the rights of land locked countries, including their access to sea.”
“From January till today, we recorded at least 59 instances of violations of Afghan territory by Pakistan military forces, including three violations of our air space, over 1375 cross-frontier artillery shellings that caused dozens of casualties, displacement of 450 families in the middle of cold winter in our eastern provinces, burning of our forests, illegal construction of infrastructure near the frontier region, and hostile maneuvering of tanks and heavy weaponry,” he added.
He further went on saying, “let me be very clear. The conflict in our country is not homegrown, as some desperately and deceptively try to portray. On the contrary, it is the nexus of illicit narcotics, violent extremism, and state sponsorship of terrorism with regional dimensions and global consequences.”
He added, “tragically, it has morphed into an undeclared war by a neighboring state that has for many years, and still continues to coordinate, facilitate, and orchestrate violence through proxy forces and more than 20 terrorist networks. These groups benefit from a full-fledged external infrastructure to keep Afghanistan off-balance for motives that are inconsistent with our desire to live in a peaceful and prospering region.”
“For years, the lack of a meaningful and result-oriented channel of dialogue aimed at addressing root causes of tension between Kabul and Islamabad has created a huge trust deficit. Reducing this deficit requires political will and healthy interactions between our two countries. On our part, if we look at the record, Afghanistan has always been ready to engage in constructive and result-oriented dialogue.”
However, the United Nations’ envoy for Afghanistan said that the country’s problems cannot be solved through military means and he urged Taliban militants to enter peace talks.
Tadamici Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, briefing to the Security Council said that Taliban fighter have seized new ground in some parts of the country, and imperiled the weak central government in Kabul.
“We just had a Security Council meeting on Afghanistan. The meeting took place of course immediately after this egregious attack on the hospital in Kabul, so people are especially concerned about the security situation, the envoy said.
“But my focus was on two things, first to say that under the current situation, where not only the security situation but generally the economic and social conditions are showing some signs of downturn. We should try to focus our efforts to bring about results through the efforts of the Afghan Government where the programme is already in place and with international cooperation,” he said, adding that “so getting the results out in terms of growth, development and social services was the first message that I had to send.”
He in his second message he said, “given the deteriorating security situation — we really have to address the peace issue. This is a continuation from my message in the December Council meeting. I have travelled the region, and I tried to convey that the efforts to garner support from regional countries are going to be extremely important in creating an environment that would help the peace process move forward.”
“This was echoed by a number of countries — actually a large number of countries — who focused on the need for the countries in the neighbourhood, in the region, to engage more in the peace efforts. So that was the main thrust.”
In a response to question, Yamamoto said, “first of all, civilian casualties are preventable, and there are codes of conduct that the Afghan Government itself is about to adopt. We hope that they shall be adopted and implemented very soon. Particularly in regard to hospitals and medical institutions, extra care has to be taken. And there are, of course, as you know, resolutions and many other sorts of criteria which they have to observe. And we, of course, talk to all parties — the insurgents, the Afghan Government, the international forces — to make sure that all of them pay heed to these standards. We hope that they will really implement, not just to speak about the issue.”
At the same event, Sima Samar, chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said, “we are disappointed with the security council decision to take the name of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar from the black list. And blank amnesty that the government of Afghanistan provided to him and his commanders. We believe they have committed crimes and violated human rights in the past four decades.”
Moreover, Wu Haitao, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative has called on international community to invest in supporting national security and defense capacity building in Afghanistan to improve the country’s security situation.
“In order to better respond to threats of terrorisms, transitional crimes and smuggling, Afghanistan needs to enhance its self-defense capability.”
Moreover, he said, “In this regard, regional countries as well as organizations like Shanghai Cooperation Organization need to enhance cooperation on security.” According to him, advancing national reconciliation process is the only way towards long-term peace in Afghanistan.
“The international community must fully support the inclusive Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process for parties to join peace talk with fruitful results without further delay,” he added.
He furthered, “international community must assist Afghanistan in enhancing its governance capacity and supporting the country’s integration into international development.”
“The international community must truly respect the right of Afghan people in independently choosing political systems and development path,” he added.