At UNSC, India calls for immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan

• India called for an immediate comprehensive ceasefire in Afghanistan at UNSC meeting convened under Arria Formula (informally convened at request of UNSC member).

• India has been concerned that the Afghan peace process and premature withdrawal of NATO/ U.S. coalition forces could leave opportunities for terrorist networks that could target both Afghanistan and India.

• Earlier, this week U.S. announced to dramatically cut number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

India had proposed four requirements for peace and stability:

• Process had to be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.

• Zero tolerance for terrorism.

• Protecting rights of women and minorities.

• Transit rights of Afghanistan should not be used by countries.

About Afghan Peace Process:

• In Feb, 2020 Taliban and US signed this deal in which the US agreed to withdraw its forces by mid-2021 in exchange the Taliban committed not attacking US forces and agreed to talk.

• Deal also provides for a prisoner swap and US to move UNSC to remove Taliban members from the sanctions list.

• However, there has been concern as UN reported that despite assurances from Taliban to US, Al Qaeda is active in Afghanistan, backed by Taliban.

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Mains Paper 2: International Relations

Prelims level: Afghan Peace Process

Mains level: Highlights the proposal for peace and stability

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