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India calls for international backing for Afghanistan peace efforts with Taliban

IANS  |  United Nations 

has expressed its support for the government's offer to the to participate in a peace process without preconditionsdespiteAthe group's "irreconcilable" nature, and called for international backing for Kabul's reconciliation efforts.

"These efforts of the calling on the armed groups to cease violence and join the national peace and reconciliation process that would protect the rights of all Afghans, including women, children and the minorities deserve our full support," India's Permanent told the on Thursday.

He described the Afghan government's "new call for peace" as "a concrete approach to the to join the mainstream" that was made "despite the fact that armed groups have identified themselves and demonstrated to all of us that they are the irreconcilables."

At the same time he called for "a robust response" to violence from "the armed opposition".

The irreconcilable guns need to be silenced," he added.

On February 28, Afghan offered a wide-ranging peace package to the at an international conference in

The peace offer included a ceasefire, inputs from the on a peace process, elections in which the could participate, and the release of prisoners.

Akbaruddin, however, warned that supporters of terrorists in have not been deterred "despite the international community efforts" to promote peace.

Without mentioning by name, he said that the international community must address the challenges faced by and the region from cross border terrorism emanating from safe havens and sanctuaries.

"There are still those who provide sanctuaries to support the dark agendas of terrorist organiations" like the Taliban, Haqqani Network, Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, he said.

"If we are to preserve the achievements of Afghan women and girls, the international community must continue to extend its full support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process," Akbaruddin said at the meeting held on

It was presided over by Sigrid Kaag, the Netherlands Development

With the participation of Australian and Deputy Chairperson of the High Peace Council Habibi Sarabi and several women diplomats, the session had a special emphasis on women and girls in

Currently only two countries have women permanent representatives on the Council -- of the and of - and some countries designated other women diplomats to participate in the Council meeting in keeping with the spirit of the day.

Akbaruddin spoke of the efforts of the and Indian Non-Governmental Organisations to help Afghan women and girls.

Many projects financed by the $2 billion aid that has contributed to have been in sectors like education, health and community development that benefit women, he said.

During the last three years about 5,000 Afghan women have received higher education scholarships to study in India, he said.

The in Tiloniya, Rajasthan, has trained several rural women from in solar electrification, he said.

Vocational training centers have been set up across and 150 women received training in to be trainers and more than 3,000 women have been trained in Afghanbistan, he added.

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First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 04:52 IST