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India flags concern over foreign fighters' presence in Afghanistan

PTI 23 Jun 2015, 13:30:47 IST
PTI

United Nations: In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India has told the UN that it is "obvious" that thousands of foreign fighters in Afghanistan could not have entered it or sustain their terror attacks without support from beyond the war-torn country's borders.

India's Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji, participating in a Security Council Debate on the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA), expressed strong condemnation over the terrorist attack on the Afghan Parliament yesterday.

He said India has "noted with concern" the UN Secretary General's reference to an Afghan Ministry of Interior estimate that 7,180 'foreign fighters' are presently in Afghanistan.

"It is obvious that they could not have entered Afghanistan, or continue to sustain their terror attacks without support from beyond Afghanistan's borders," he said as he cited the latest report of the Secretary General, which mentions that there's been an increase of 45 per cent in armed clashes from 2014.

The report also highlights that 71 per cent of the violence has been concentrated in the southern, south-eastern and eastern regions in this period.

"These statistics are a matter of concern for India and the international community. It only reinforces our view that terrorism, and not tribal differences or ethnic rivalries is the main source of insecurity and instability in Afghanistan," Mukerji said.

The Indian envoy said the spurt in violence is taking place at a time when Afghanistan is in the midst of a "sensitive and historical" political transition under the leadership of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.