UN Security Council drops reference to Taliban from terror statement

India, which assumed the rotating presidency of the council for the month of August, signed off on the statement

Taliban, women barred from universities
Despite initially promising a more moderate rule respecting rights for women and minorities, the Taliban have widely implemented their strict interpretation of Islamic law | Representational Image

The UN Security Council has dropped a reference to the Taliban from a paragraph in its statement on the Kabul airport attack. The statement called on Afghan groups not to support terrorists “operating on the territory of any other country”.

India, which assumed the rotating presidency of the council for the month of August, signed off on the statement.

In an earlier statement on Afghanistan on August 16, a day after Kabul fell to the Taliban, the council warned that “neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country”.

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Syed Akbaruddin, India’s former permanent representative at the United Nations, pointed out the difference in the two statements and said “the ’T’ word is gone”.

On August 19 when asked how India views the Taliban leadership, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said it is still “early days”. The focus right now is on the safety of Indian nationals in Afghanistan, he said.

The Taliban is reportedly aiding the evacuation of foreigners – as well as some Afghans – in Afghanistan.

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The US is relying on the group to maintain security around Kabul’s airport. Thursday’s suicide bombing killed more than 170 people, including 13 American troops. The US is sharing intelligence with the Taliban to thwart the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, which claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Thursday, General Frank McKenzie, commander of the US Central Command, confirmed that the US would continue to ask the Taliban to assist with security, saying he hadn’t seen evidence that the Taliban let the attack occur.

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