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New York: India on Thursday voiced concern over the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, as it reaffirmed its unwavering commitment towards helping the people of the war-torn country.

“India is deeply concerned at the unfolding humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. In response to the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people and in response to the urgent appeals made by the United Nations, India has dispatched several shipments of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan,” said R. Madhu Sudan, Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN.

Addressing the UNSC Arria Formula Meeting, Counsellor Madhu Sudan said India has direct stakes in ensuring the return of peace and stability to the country, given its position as a contiguous neighbour and long-standing partner of Afghanistan.

“It may be noted that prior to the takeover by the Taliban, India had been implementing projects and programmes with a commitment of over USD 3 billion aimed towards development, reconstruction, and capacity building in Afghanistan,” he said during the meeting titled “Preventing economic collapse and exploring prospects for recovery and development in Afghanistan.”

Counsellor Madhu Sudan said India’s development partnership in Afghanistan encompassed people-centric projects in all 34 provinces and were aimed at making the country a self-sustaining nation.

“We also operationalized air freight corridors and the Chabahar Port to enhance regional connectivity to Afghanistan. However, the change in the political situation has resulted in slowing down of our projects for different reasons,” he added.

The Indian diplomat said New Delhi’s approach to Afghanistan, as always, will be guided by our historical friendship and our special relationship with the people of Afghanistan.

“It was in this regard that we supported and welcomed the Security Council resolution 2615 (2021) which provided a humanitarian carve-out from the 1988 sanctions regime,” he added.

India also raised concerns about terrorism emanating from Afghanistan and backed the collective approach of the international community as articulated by the Security Council Resolution 2593.

“It unequivocally demands that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used for sheltering, training, planning, or financing terrorist acts, specifically terrorist individuals and entities proscribed by the UN Security Council, including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad,” he said.

“Linked to the issue of terrorism is the menace of drug trafficking. We have recently seized big shipments of drugs at our ports and in the high seas off our coasts. It is important for strengthening international cooperation to disrupt and dismantle these trafficking networks,” he further stressed.

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