Foreign minister accuses Delhi of ‘partisan’ actions after it bars Islamabad from addressing global body for second time during its month-long presidency
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday reiterated his criticism of India’s “partisan and obstructionist actions” after Pakistan was once again denied the chance to address a United Nations Security Council meeting on Afghanistan.
The UNSC, which has a monthly rotating presidency, is currently being led by India. Pakistan had already been barred from addressing an earlier briefing on Afghanistan on Aug. 6, with Qureshi accusing India of violating its obligations as head of the UNSC.
In a series of posts on Twitter responding to India’s latest attempt to sideline Pakistan at the UNSC, Qureshi said it was “unfortunate” that a country that had suffered the most after Afghanistan due to decades of conflict was not being given a chance to communicate its stance. “At this critical juncture in the destiny of Afghanistan, India’s partisan and obstructionist actions, repeatedly politicizing this multilateral platform [whose] raison d’être is peace, speaks volumes of their intention for [Afghanistan] and the region,” he said.
The foreign minister stressed that Islamabad would continue to play its role in facilitating peace and stability in Kabul. “Pakistan continues to demonstrate a constructive role in Afghanistan, including facilitating peace that is Afghan-led and –owned, among many economic and humanitarian efforts,” he said. “Our mission in Kabul is working tirelessly to issue visas, to evacuate diplomats, NGO workers, media personnel, et al,” he added.
“Pakistan cannot stress enough the importance of the international community to remain engaged and involved in Afghanistan in a constructive manner,” he emphasized.
India’s decision was also criticized by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.N. Munir Akram, who lamented that Pakistan’s request to participate in the UNSC meeting was once again blocked by the Indian Presidency. He stressed that doing so had resulted in the UNSC being denied an “important perspective” that could prove helpful in achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region.
UNSC seeks rights
In a readout issued after the meeting, the UNSC called for talks between all stakeholders to create a new, “inclusive” government in Afghanistan. During his address to the meeting, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres urged the global body to “use all tools at its disposal” to suppress a global terrorist threat from Afghanistan and guarantee respect for human rights.
“We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan,” he said, stressing that reports were already emerging of severe restrictions on human rights being imposed nationwide. “I am particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan,” he added.
In its readout, the Security Council stressed the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan to ensure other countries were not threatened or attacked, adding “neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country.”
It also called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and the establishment of a new government, including women, through inclusive negotiations.