Poverty in Afghanistan could have catastrophic consequences for regional stability: Jaishankar
Noting that Afghanistan was passing through a ‘critical and challenging phase’ following its takeover by the Taliban, India today warned that the imminent threat of increased poverty in the war-torn nation could have ‘catastrophic consequences’ for regional stability.
Addressing a high-level UN meeting on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar drew attention towards a UNDP report which stated that the levels of poverty in the troubled nation could rise from 72 per cent to 97 per cent.
“India has always supported the UN role in Afghanistan’s future. We believe the UNSC resolution 2593 should guide the international community’s approach in dealing with the situation in Afghanistan,” he said.
The minister said India was monitoring developments in Afghanistan with “understandable concern” and would stand by the people of that nation just as in the past. “India’s approach is guided by the historical friendship with the people of Afghanistan. This will continue to be the case.”
Jaishshankar said there has been a sea change in the political, economic, social and security situation in Afghanistan and consequently in its humanitarian needs. “It’s important that the issue of travel and safe passage that can emerge as an obstacle to humanitarian assistance be immediately sorted out. Those who wish to travel in and out of Afghanistan should be granted such facilities without obstruction,” he added.
The normalisation of regular commercial operations of Kabul airport would not only assist in that regard but then become the basis of a regular flow of relief material. This would also accelerate activities that would complement domestic relief measures, he said.
He was also of the view that the humanitarian assistance to the people in Afghanistan should be non-discriminatory.