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We must prevent expansion of all terrorist groups in Afghanistan: UN chief

United Nations, Jan 26 (PTI) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that expansion of all terrorist groups in Afghanistan must be prevented, cautioning that for far too long, the country has been a fertile breeding ground for terrorist outfits and if the international community does not help Afghans, the region and the world will pay a heavy price.

“Six months after the takeover by the Taliban, Afghanistan is hanging by a thread. For Afghans, daily life has become a frozen hell,” Guterres said in his briefing to the UN Security Council on Afghanistan.

He said terrorism remains a constant threat – not only to the security of Afghanistan itself, but to the entire world.

“Promoting security and fighting terrorism are also crucial. For far too long, the country has been a fertile breeding ground for terrorist groups. If we do not act and help Afghans weather this storm, the region and the world will pay a heavy price,” he said, warning that illicit drug flows, and criminal and terrorist networks will increase.

The UN chief asked the Taliban to work closely with the global community – and the Security Council – to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan and build institutions that promote security.

“We must prevent the expansion of all terrorist organisations in the country. And just as I appeal to the international community to step up support for the people of Afghanistan, I make an equally urgent plea to the Taliban leadership to recognise and protect the fundamental human rights that every person shares,” he said.

Guterres also emphasised that now is the time for the Taliban to expand opportunity and security for its people, and demonstrate a real commitment to be a part of the global community.

“The window for trust-building is open. But this trust must be earned,” he said.

“We urge the Taliban to seize this moment and garner international trust and goodwill by recognizing – and upholding – the basic human rights that belong to every girl and woman,” he said.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, in her remarks to the Council said there must be “more meaningful” actions behind the Taliban’s promise to contain terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

She said existence of numerous terrorist groups in Afghanistan remains a broad international and especially regional concern.

“The desire of the de facto authorities to take on this threat across the board remains to be convincingly demonstrated. At the same time, a certain amount of realism is required regarding its capacity to do so,” she said.

Lyons underlined that given the common interest in addressing the threat of terrorism, if sufficient trust can be established this could be an area for potential cooperation between the international community and the de facto authorities.

She noted that it does appear that the de facto authorities in Afghanistan have attempted to constrain the Islamic State’s ability to carry out major attacks, while small-scale attacks are still being carried out, particularly against religious minorities.

Guterres lamented that for decades – even centuries – Afghanistan has been “unfairly used” as a platform for political agendas, geopolitical advantage, ideological dominance, and brutal conflicts and terrorism.

“As a matter of moral responsibility – and regional and global security and prosperity – we cannot abandon the people of Afghanistan. They need peace. They need hope. They need help. And they need it now.” While unfettered humanitarian access to all regions of the country is vital, Guterres said every effort must be made to build inclusive government institutions in which all Afghans feel represented. PTI YAS ZH ZH

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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