India Concerned by Taliban Resurgence
Saturday 19 April 2003
New Delhi - Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha said Saturday that he was concerned by the re-emergence of "Taliban-inspired terrorism" in Afghanistan.
"...As a neighbour and friend of Afghanistan, we are greatly concerned at the re-emergence of Taliban-inspired and (Pakistan's secret service)ISI-backed terrorism in parts of Afghanistan," he said.
Sinha said that the Taliban was involved in the killing of a foreign national working for the International Committee of Red Cross as well as two US soldiers in the country.
He also added that a large number of Taliban followers were recently apprehended after they entered the country with arms, ammunition and publicity literature against the Afghan government.
"A memorandum was also submitted on April 14 on behalf of people of Kandahar, calling upon Pakistan to stop interfering in the internal affairs of Afghanistan, and to stop supplying bombs and explosives to terrorists," he added.
Sinha said that the international campaign on terrorism should not condone terrorism in some countries while choosing to punish others. "Those connected to the heinous acts of September 11, had inter-linkages in terms of collaborators, funding, indoctrination and training in places including our neighbourhood," he said.
"State agencies and groups directly sponsored by our western neighbour are also known to have provided safe haven and logistical support to fleeing Al-Qaeda and Taliban elements," Sinha added.
India was a major backer of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance that stormed into Kabul in 2001 amid a US bombing campaign. New Delhi has been supporting the present Afghanistan government with not only funds, but also helping the development of its health sector, education, civil aviation, transport and agriculture industry.
Sinha added that the international community was increasingly aware of India's concerns on cross-border infiltration, but said that this did not mean that the US will start intervening in its affairs with Pakistan.
He said that India had deliberately followed a "middle path" in its reaction to the US-led war against Iraq. "We will continue to balance the pursuit of our national interests with our principles. Neither will we sell our souls to others, nor will we pursue blindly antagonistic principles for the sake of antagonism."
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