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PM’s high-level group on Afghanistan focusses on India’s priorities in the region

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on August 31, 2021

Ensures the UNSC resolution on Afghanistan addresses India’s key concerns on terror groups, safe passage of Indians

To expedite response to the crisis situation in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set up a high level group comprising Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, which is focussing on immediate priorities including evacuation.

The group, which has been meeting regularly over the last few days, has also played an important role in ensuring that the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution on Afghanistan, passed on Tuesday morning, addresses India’s key concerns, a source tracking the matter told BusinessLine.

“This group is seized of issues pertaining to the safe return of stranded Indians, the travel of Afghan nationals (especially minorities) to India and assuring that the territory of Afghanistan is not used in any manner for terrorism directed against India,” the source said.

Evacuation effort

India has evacuated more than 500 Indian and Afghan nationals from Afghanistan after militant group Taliban took over Kabul on August 15.

The group has also been monitoring the ground situation in Afghanistan and international reactions, including the resolution passed on Tuesday by the UN Security Council, the source added.

The UNSC resolution, passed under India’s Presidency, addresses India’s key concerns pertaining to Afghanistan, the source said. The resolution demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten/attack any country or to shelter/train terrorists or plan/finance terrorist acts. It specifically mentions individuals and entities designated pursuant to UNSC Resolution 1267, such as Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

It also addresses India’s immediate concerns about facilitating travel from Afghanistan, including Kabul airport. “This will cover Indian nationals stranded in the country as well as Afghan nationals (including minorities) who wish to travel to India,” the source said.

Published on August 31, 2021

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