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Must address enablers, orchestrators of terrorism, says Afghanistan at United Nations

United Nations : 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 at the United Nations.

“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 on Wednesday.

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.