IN ITS first clear and official reference to the Taliban as a state actor, India acknowledged Sunday in a joint statement with Australia that the group occupies “positions of power and authority across Afghanistan.”
On Saturday, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar called the Taliban a “waiver” in Kabul during his remarks after the 2 + 2 talks with Australia involving the foreign and defense ministers.
Sunday’s joint statement said: “(The) ministers also expressed their deep concern about the situation in Afghanistan. The ministers called on the Taliban to ensure safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans wishing to leave the country. “
He said: “They reiterated their appeals to those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to adhere to counterterrorism and human rights commitments, in accordance with resolution 2593 of the United Nations. UNSC. “
UN Security Council Resolution 2593 – issued August 30 under the month-long Indian presidency – stressed that Afghanistan must not allow its soil to be used for terrorism-related activities.
In another unusual move by India, the joint statement noted reports of human rights violations. “They (the ministers) noted reports of a rapid decline in women’s and girls’ rights and access to services and public spaces, as well as targeted violence against women’s rights defenders. In this regard, the ministers reiterated their call for the protection of the rights of women and children and their full participation in public life, ”he said.
The declaration called for “a broad-based and inclusive government” for “long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan”.
Signaling concerns about terrorism, he said the two sides “agreed to remain attentive to the wider repercussions of developments in Afghanistan for the ongoing terrorist threats in the world and in our region”.
Besides Jaishankar and Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, the 2 + 2 talks involved Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterpart Peter Dutton.