Modi at UNGA: PM says Afghanistan shouldn't be used to spread terror, takes veiled dig at Pakistan

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Addressing the high-level United Nations General Assembly session in New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for international community's support to war-torn Afghanistan.

"The women and children of Afghanistan, the minorities of Afghanistan need help. And we must fulfill our duty by providing them with this help," he said.

Aiming a subtle dig at Pakistan in his UNGA address, Modi said, "There are countries that are using terror as a political tool. They should know that terror is equally dangerous for them."

In an apparent reference to China which is flexing its military muscles in the Indo-Pacific, the prime minister also said that in order to strengthen the rules-based world order, the international community must speak in unison.

Noting that the world is facing an increased threat of regressive thinking and extremism, Modi in a veiled attack on Pakistan which is often accused by its neighbours of providing safe havens to terrorists said, "It is necessary to make the world a site of science-based, rational and progressive thinking."

"It is absolutely essential to ensure that Afghanistan's territory is not used to spread terrorism and for terrorist activities," he said, adding, "We also need to ensure that no country tries to take advantage of the delicate situation in Afghanistan and use it for its own selfish interests."

Pakistan's neighbours, including Afghanistan and India, and the US have long accused Islamabad of providing safe haven and support to militants, a charge denied by it.

Fight against terror

"Terrorism is the biggest global challenge," Modi asserted, adding, "for humanity's sake unite against terrorism."

"We believe that terrorism is not a challenge for any one country, but for all countries and of mankind as a whole. So for the sake of humanity, all the world has to unite against terror," the prime minister said.

"We belong to a country which has given the world Lord Buddha and not war, given a message of peace and hence our voice to alert the world against terrorism has seriousness and anger. A world divided on terror damages the basis on which the UN was created. And hence I consider it essential for the world to be united against terrorism," he said.

Afghan territory must not be used for terror

The UNSC resolution 2593 on Afghanistan, adopted under India's Presidency of the 15-nation Council in August, had demanded that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterated the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and noted the Taliban's relevant commitments.

The Taliban, which took control of Kabul on 15 August, have put in place a hardline interim 33-member Cabinet that has no women and includes UN-designated terrorists. The Taliban last ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan last month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities in the backdrop of withdrawal of the US forces that began on 1 May. On 15 August, Kabul fell to the insurgents.

The Taliban claimed victory over opposition forces in the last holdout province of Panjshir on 6 September, completing their takeover of Afghanistan three weeks after capturing Kabul.

With inputs from agencies

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