Concerted action needed to eliminate syndicate of terror:India

In a statement to the UN General Assembly today on 'The situation in Afghanistan', India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said terror groups like Al-Qaeda, Taliban and Laskar-e-Taiba operating from within and outside Afghanistan's borders are "ideologically and operationally fused" and their bonds have strengthened over the years.

"We are seriously concerned that there has been no let up in terrorist violence," Puri said, citing the assassination of former Afghan President Burhanudin Rabbani and senior Afghan leaders including President Karzai's brother Ahmad Wali Karzai.

"We need concerted action to isolate and root out the syndicate of terrorism, including al-Qaeda, Taliban and Laskar-e-Taiba. We need resolute determination and political will to firmly deal with safe havens for terrorist groups outside Afghanistan's borders," Puri said.

The 193-member General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by India, calling for increased efforts in the areas of security, justice and governance, social and economic development, reconciliation and integration, regional cooperation and strategic partnerships in Afghanistan.

The Afghan people deserve to live in peace and decide their future for themselves, "without outside interference, coercion and intimidation," Puri said, adding that all countries of the region must work to facilitate this.

"Recent history has shown that an end to Afghanistan’s suffering requires an end to external interference in its internal affairs," Puri added. As US and NATO forces prepare to exit Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the international community should focus its efforts in ensuring that the transition must be Afghan owned, planned and implemented in a systematic manner taking into account the ground realities.

"We need concerted international and regional efforts towards laying the foundations of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Sustained and tangible progress on security, governance and development issues is the key for peace, progress and stability in Afghanistan," Puri said.

He said Afghanistan needs assistance to build its capacity to tackle the critical challenges of terrorism including suicide terrorism, the religious extremism that fuels it and the drug trafficking that sustains it.

Puri said India supports further strengthening of the Afghan National Security Forces as their operational capabilities have to be enhanced so that they can preserve the sovereignty and independence of their nation.

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