India for more ‘pressure’ on Pakistan to stabilise Afghanistan


New Delhi : Linking growing violence in Afghanistan to support from across the border, India Wednesday asked the international community to put “effective pressure” on Pakistan to crack down on terrorists within its territory, including Al Qaeda, Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

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“India has an abiding interest in the stability of Afghanistan,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said at an international seminar on Afghanistan here.

“The international community should put effective pressure on Pakistan to implement its stated commitment to deal with terrorist groups within its territory, including the members of Al Qaeda, Taliban’s Quetta Shura, Hizb-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other like-minded terrorist groups,” Rao said.

She warned that the failure to pressure Pakistan on terrorism could worsen the situation in Afghanistan.

“Without this, the gains made over the past eight years will be compromised and it will become difficult to forestall the restoration of status quo ante, to a situation similar to what prevailed prior to Sep 11, 2001,” Rao said.

In an oblique reference to Pakistan, Rao also warned about the perils of striking deals with terrorists. “The world has come to realise, at considerable cost, that terrorism can’t be compartmentalised, and any facile attempts to strike Faustian bargains with terrorists often result in such forces turning on the powers that sustained them in the past,” she said.

“There is a growing understanding that the increase in terrorist actions in Afghanistan is linked to the support and sanctuaries available in the contiguous areas,” Rao said.

“That explains the particularly high level of violence in the border areas of Afghanistan,” she stressed.