War has entered deadlier phase: UN
Pakistan should help Afghanistan in dismantling the Taliban for peace to prosper in the war-torn country, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations Ghulam M Isaczai said Friday.
The Afghan ambassador’s comments came during an open meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
The discussion was requested by the Afghan government, as well as Norway and Estonia. The Security Council last met on Afghanistan in June, but the situation in the conflict-ridden country has rapidly worsened since then.
Isaczai, who represented Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar in the meeting, said the Taliban had launched brutal attacks which had caused further instability in the country. “It is our job to stop it.”
The ambassador said the group had gone against the peace deal by not cutting off ties with international terrorist organisations.
“And their ties cannot be broken off,” he alleged. “Those who indulge and participate with them also reap the benefits,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN special envoy for Afghanistan on Friday questioned the Taliban’s commitment to a political settlement, telling the UN Security Council the war has entered a “deadlier and more destructive phase” with more than 1,000 civilians killed in the past month during a Taliban offensive.
“A party that was genuinely committed to a negotiated settlement would not risk so many civilian casualties, because it would understand that the process of reconciliation will be more challenging, the more blood is shed,” Deborah Lyons said.
“This is now a different kind of war, reminiscent of Syria, recently, or Sarajevo, in the not-so-distant past,” Lyons said.
“To attack urban areas is to knowingly inflict enormous harm and cause massive civilian casualties.
Nonetheless, the threatening of large urban areas appears to be a strategic decision by the Taliban, who have accepted the likely carnage that will ensue,” she said.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told the council that the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan was of increasing concern and “with the withdrawal of foreign forces, the outlook looks grim.
“It is clear that there is no military solution to the Afghan situation, but in the current situation — given the absence of progress on the negotiation track — the prospects of Afghanistan slipping into full scale and protracted civil war, unfortunately, is a stark reality,” he said.
Senior US diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis urged the Taliban to halt their offensive, pursue a political settlement and protect Afghanistan’s infrastructure and people.
“The Taliban must hear from the international community that we will not accept a military takeover of Afghanistan or a return of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate,” he said.– Reuters