The regional state sponsors of terror outfits are exploiting the democratic political dynamics of Afghanistan and attempting to sow seeds of discord among its nationals, the country's Permanent Representative to the UN said today, in a veiled reference to Pakistan.
Participating in an open debate of the Security Council on Afghanistan, Mahmoud Saikal did not directly name Pakistan, but a major part of his speech was directed towards the neighbouring country.
"For too long the debate on state-sponsored terrorism has been kept away from international forums, including the United Nations (UN). Beyond the intelligence networks, the rest of the world knows little about the behaviour of this aspect of terrorism at national, regional and international levels, Saikal told the Security Council.
The 15-membered powerful body of the UN later in a unanimous resolution extended its 'Assistance Mission' in Afghanistan for another year.
"The regional state sponsors of terror outfits exported to our country have recently pursued new methods of denial and belligerence by playing reverse psychology and attempting to distort narratives," he said.
Irrefutable evidence of complicity in facilitating safe havens and logistical support to terrorists have been responded to by failed methods of counter-narration of accusing Afghanistan of "providing safe havens to terrorists," he said.
Saikal said the sponsors were exploiting the democratic political dynamics of Afghanistan, attempting to sow seeds of discord among Afghans, victimise refugees by unfairly linking them to terrorism and portray their orchestrated terror attacks as "civil war."
According to the latest UN report, Afghanistan has suffered more than 10,000 civilian casualties yearly over the past four years, mainly due to terrorist attacks plotted beyond its frontiers, he said.
"In desperation they don't even hold back from such heavily risk-prone attempts as to abuse and manipulate ironclad and all-weather friendships in international relations in favour of concealing the evidence of their sponsorship of terrorism, obfuscating facts and distorting narratives at regional and global forums, Saikal said.
"In light of increased terrorist activities around the world, the time has come that we openly debate the regional state sponsorship of terror outfits exported to our country and let the world know more of its behaviour, he said.
Saikal said there had been new measures at the international level to shift the calculus and promote genuine and productive counter-terrorism cooperation.
"Recent decisions including the reduction of financial aid to the concerned State, and inclusion in the watch list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) represent a renewed attempt to encourage genuine action on the crucially important goal of defeating terrorism effectively," he said.
"We hope that this trend continues and the response to these measures is positive, in the interest of peace and security in Afghanistan and the region," he said.
The Kabul Process is not just about outreach to the Taliban, Saikal said, adding that it is about ending the conflict, achieving peace and preserving the democratic order for which numerous Afghans and allies have sacrificed their lives.
"The Taliban should not be permitted to misuse the opportunity presented as they have done so in the past," Saikal said.
Afghanistan has witnessed some of the worst terrorist attacks killing scores of people. It has blamed Pakistan-based terror groups for these attacks.
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