PM Narendra Modi urged the international community not to rush into recognising the Taliban government, saying it is not inclusive and was formed without negotiations, raising questions over the acceptability of the new regime that has taken over Afghanistan. He was virtually addressing an ‘Afghanistan outreach’ session of the SCO-CSTO summit in Dushanbe.
In his first public remarks on Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the PM Modi said it is necessary the global community considers the issue of recognising the Taliban regime only after considerable thought and in a collective manner, keeping in mind the need for proper representation for women and ethnic minorities in the new government.
Modi backed a central role for the UN and dispelled any ambiguity over India’s stand with regard to recognition of the new regime. His rejection of the Taliban’s claims to legitimacy could sharpen competition with Pakistan, which is seen to have influenced the installation of hardliners in leading roles in Kabul.
In an earlier speech during a function at Somnath in Gujarat, Modi had, without naming Taliban, said that “empires founded on terror did not last long”. Modi said instability and radicalisation in Afghanistan will encourage terrorist and extremist forces and called upon SCO member-states to develop, based on a zero tolerance approach to terrorism, strict and shared norms that serve as a template for global anti-terror cooperation in the future.
These norms should include a code of conduct to check cross-border terrorism and terror-financing activities and also a mechanism for its implementation,” he said. The PM underlined the significance of efforts to ensure that Afghanistan is not used to spread terrorism and called for a code of conduct to check cross border terrorism and terror-financing.
He said instability and radicalisation can encourage “other terrorist groups” to grab power through violent means and encourage terrorism and extremist ideologies. In its statements at the UN and elsewhere India has consistently set out support to terrorism and violation of the rights of Afghan people as red lines the Taliban must not cross.
“The first issue is that the regime change hasn’t been inclusive and has taken place without any negotiation. This raises question marks about the acceptability of the new dispensation,’’ said Modi adding that the recent developments in Afghanistan will have the greatest impact on neighboring countries like India. Modi’s remarks also came in the middle of speculation about an Indian “outreach’’ to Taliban after the government announced a meeting with a senior Taliban leader in Doha.
The Taliban though never publicly acknowledged that meeting with the Indian ambassador. On recognition, India doesn’t see its position as different from that of Russia which, while working closely with Taliban, has said it’s in no hurry to officially recognise the Taliban government and will wait to see if they fulfil their commitment on terrorism and drug-trafficking.