India has said attacks by a syndicate of terrorism, including Taliban, Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba, on its citizens and interests in Afghanistan will not deter it from supporting the war-torn nation during its crucial transition.
Concerted action is needed to "isolate and root out" the syndicate of terrorism, including elements of Taliban, Al Qaeda, LeT and other terrorist groups, said India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Manjeev Singh Puri.
Puri cited last month's "condemnable" attack on the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad in which several Afghan citizens, including 10 children, were killed and some Afghan security personnel were injured.
"India does not have an 'exit policy' in Afghanistan and will not be deterred by such attacks. We do not see this attack as only aimed against India, but also against the efforts of the Afghan people to overcome the tragic consequences of the last several decades of war and conflict," he said at a Security Council debate on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan yesterday.
Many terrorist attacks were coordinated by the Taliban with the Al-Qaeda and their affiliates, Puri said. "These definitely are pointers that we must be continuously watchful of the designs of these terrorist organisations," he added.
The security situation in Afghanistan is "fragile" because of the continued threat from terrorist and extremist groups.
Describing as "merciless" the killing of India-born author Sushmita Banerjee, he said the incident reflected the "intolerance" of those who oppose Afghanistan's socio- economic development as well as the challenge that lies ahead.
Banerjee, 49, was married to an Afghan businessman and was recently killed by the Taliban in eastern Paktika province.
Afghanistan is going through critical security, political and economic transitions, and a peaceful and free poll process that elects an Afghan President acceptable to the people "remains the key", Puri said.
Next year's presidential poll will be a "significant" step in the political reconstruction effort in Afghanistan which "must always remain Afghan-led and Afghan-owned".
The year 2014 will be an "important watershed" for Afghanistan and the world community's support for is critical in this transition. India will continue to stand by Afghanistan during this period of transition, Puri said.
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