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India to Chair UNSC’s Crucial Taliban Sanctions Committee

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India will chair the UN Security Council’s crucial Taliban and Libya sanctions, and counter-terrorism committee, Indian Representative to the UN said.

T. S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to UN, in a video message said Thursday: “I am happy to announce that India has been asked to chair three important committees of the Security Council which include the Taliban Sanctions Committee, counter-terrorism committee, and the Libyan sanctions committee.”

Tirumurti stated that the Taliban Sanctions Committee also in the 1988 Sanctions Committee, has always been a “high priority” for India.

“Keeping in mind our strong interest and commitment to peace security development and progress of Afghanistan,” he noted.

The Indian diplomat emphasized that India’s chairing this committee at this moment would help to “keep the focus on the presence of terrorists and their sponsors threatening the peace process in Afghanistan.”

“It has been our view that peace process and violence cannot go hand in hand,” Tirumurti said.

Referring to the counter-terrorism committee, which will be chaired by India, as a non-permanent member of the powerful15-nation UN body, in 2022, Tirumurti said the committee was formed in September 2001 soon after the “tragic terrorist attack” of 9/11.

“The chairing of this committee has a special resonance for India which has not only been in the forefront of fighting terrorism especially cross-border terrorism but has also been one of its biggest victims,” the Indian envoy pointed out.

Tirumurti said the Libya Sanctions Committee, also called the 1970 Sanctions Committee, is a “very important” subsidiary body of the Council, which implements the sanctions regime, including a two-way arms embargo on Libya and assets freeze, a travel ban and measures on illicit export of petroleum.

“We will be assuming the chair of this committee at a critical juncture when there is an international focus on Libya and on the peace process,” he said.

The UN Security Council has five permanent members including the US, Russia, China, the UK, and France who have veto powers, and 10 non-permanent members, five of which are elected each year for a two-year term.

In 2021, India, Norway, Kenya, Ireland, and Mexico secured seats for the whole period as non-permanent members, and Vietnam, Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, and Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines will be a part of the first year.

 

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Al-Qaeda cells operating in multiple Afghan provinces: UN

The report said that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) remains the largest terrorist group in Afghanistan, with an estimated strength of 6,000–6,500 fighters

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Al-Qaeda cells are operating in multiple provinces of Afghanistan, mainly in south-east of the country, UN sanctions monitors said in a new report.

The report by the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team said that despite a reduced profile, Al-Qaeda disseminates propaganda to increase recruitment while working to rebuild its operational capability.

“Several Member States noted that facilities with Al-Qaida associations are mainly for training local fighters along with TTP operatives, with newly reported training base locations and safe houses in various Afghan provinces, including former camps in Jalalabad and in Kandahar Province, and in Kunar, Nuristan and Takhar Provinces,” the report said.

The report said that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) remains the largest terrorist group in Afghanistan, with an estimated strength of 6,000–6,500 fighters

It added that the group continues to operate on a significant scale in Afghanistan and to conduct terrorist operations into Pakistan from there, often utilizing Afghans.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), however, rejects the report.

Hamdullah Fitrat, deputy spokesperson of IEA, emphasizes that no terrorist group is present in Afghanistan, and the Islamic Emirate will not allow anyone to use Afghanistan’s soil against other countries.

According to the UN report, member States credit IEA’s efforts to counter the threat from Daesh but question the IEA’s counter-terrorism capabilities and have concerns about continued Daesh recruitment and dispersal.

 

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More than 350,000 people sign petition asking IEA to respect human rights: Amnesty

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Amnesty International announced on Friday that 354,847 people worldwide have signed a petition asking the authorities of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to respect and guarantee protection of human rights.

“In a powerful show of global solidarity, 354,847 signatures have been collected calling on the Taliban de-facto authorities (IEA) to respect and protect human rights in Afghanistan,” Amnesty International South Asia said on X. “As the catastrophic human rights situation persists, we must continue our joint demand for accountability and justice in Afghanistan.”

International organizations have repeatedly expressed concern about restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan.

However, the Islamic Emirate has said that it is committed to ensuring women’s rights in accordance with the Sharia law, insisting that is an internal issue of Afghanistan.

 

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UN report claims Afghanistan’s morality police are violating human rights

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NRC chief calls for donors’ diplomatic presence in Kabul

Earlier, Hugh Bayley, a commissioner for the official UK aid watchdog, also called for a British diplomatic presence in Kabul to support Afghan women and monitor aid.

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Jan Egeland, head of Norwegian Refugee Council, said on Friday that donor countries should send diplomats back to Kabul and join in the fight for women’s rights, girls’ education and minority protection.

Earlier, Hugh Bayley, a commissioner for the official UK aid watchdog, also called for a British diplomatic presence in Kabul to support Afghan women and monitor aid.

“Yes, the UK and other donors should send diplomats back to Kabul and join us there to fight for women’s rights, girls education and minority protection,” Egeland said on X. “As humanitarian groups we are too alone, underfunded and overstretched among the 40 million civilians NATO left behind in 2021.”

With the takeover of Afghanistan by the Islamic Emirate in August 2021, Western countries pulled their diplomats out of the country.

No state recognises the Islamic Emirate as the Afghan government, although countries including Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and India have opened diplomatic missions in Kabul.

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