The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has dropped a reference to Taliban from statement on terror attacks in Kabul.
This change-of-mind comes during a period in which India is the president of the UNSC, and media reports have dubbed it “essentially… the first signal by the international community that Taliban is no longer a global outcaste.”
Sharing screenshots of UNSC Press Statements from 16 August (a day after Taliban’s takeover of Kabul) and 27 August (a day after bombings at the Kabul airport), Syed Akbaruddin, who previously served as India's permanent representative at the United Nations, wrote:
“In diplomacy… a fortnight is a long time… The ‘T’ word is gone.”
WHAT DID THE UNSC SAY IN ITS 16 AUG STATEMENT?
On 16 August, the Permanent Representative of India at the UN, TS Tirumurti, issued a statement on behalf of the UNSC, which included the following text:
“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan to ensure the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any country, and that neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country.”UNSC, 16 August statement
AND WHAT DID THE UNSC SAY IN THE 27 AUG STATEMENT?
On 27 Aug, the UNSC put out a statement condemning the “deplorable attacks” in Kabul and also reproduced the paragraph mentioned above. However, with some tweaks.
“The members of the Security Council reiterated the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan to ensure the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any country, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any country.”UNSC, 27 August statement
The Indian Express has cited officials as saying that the decision for India to sign off on the statement was taken due to changing “ground realities.”
The officials also reportedly believe that India would not have been able to evacuate 565 people so far (including the entire Indian embassy which was evacuated on 17 August itself) without Taliban’s cooperation.
Further, officials told The Indian Express that even though India has not yet engaged with the Taliban in the way other UNSC members have, signing off on this statement indicates opening up the possibility to engage with the group.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)