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India, Australia call for inclusive government for stability in Afghanistan

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New Delhi: India and Australia have called for “broad-based and inclusive government” in Afghanistan which is  “necessary” for “long term peace and stability” of the country, a point in the joint statement released after the first 2+2 Foreign and Defense ministers dialogue on Saturday (September 11). 

India’s defense minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs minister Dr Jaishankar, Australian Foreign minister Marise Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton held the 2+2 dialogue in Delhi in which a range of issues like Indo pacific, Afghanistan, defense ties were discussed.

The joint statement said that the ministers “expressed deep concern about the situation in Afghanistan” and called on the “Taliban to guarantee safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans wanting to leave the country”. Afghanistan saw Taliban takeover in August, after the fall of national capital Kabul. What followed has been heartbreaking visuals of many Afghans trying to leave the country fearing Taliban reprisal.

In the joint statement they “reiterated calls on those in positions of power and authority” across Afghanistan to “adhere to counterterrorism commitments and human rights, in accordance with” United Nations Security Council Resolution 2593. The resolution was passed under the Indian chairmanship of the council on August 30 and is a key document when it comes to situation in Afghanistan and Taliban commitments on counter-terror. 

Ministers also agreed to “remain alert to the broader repercussions of the developments in Afghanistan for the ongoing terrorist threats around the world, and in our region.”  The worry over Afghanistan becoming a safe haven for international terror groups has been a concern globally. India has raised it publicly at the multilateral forum at UN and privately with many of its allies, especially with regards to Pakistan-based international terror groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad finding a safe haven.

In the joint statement ministers “noted reports of a rapid roll-back on women and girls’ rights and access to services and public spaces, as well as targeted violence against women’s rights defenders”, and called on for “protection of rights of women and children and their full participation in public life”. Past few weeks have seen restrictions being imposed on women, especially ability to work. Kabul saw massive protest, many of the participants were women, who were beaten up by the Taliban according to videos that emerged on social media. 

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