India Monitoring Afghan Developments With 'Understandable Concern': Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar
Since the Taliban* took over Afghanistan, many nations have stopped financial aid to the country and its reserves have been frozen. It has caused widespread financial stress among the public, pushing millions into poverty.
Expressing concern over the mounting scale of poverty in Afghanistan, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Monday said New Delhi is monitoring the developments in the neighbouring country with "understandable concern".
Addressing a UN High-Level Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan, the federal minister said that the rising poverty in Afghanistan could have "catastrophic consequences for global stability".
"Afghanistan is passing through a critical and challenging phase. There's been a sea change in its political, economic, social and security situation , and consequently in its humanitarian needs... UNDP recently assessed that there is an imminent threat of poverty levels rising from 72 percent to 97 percent there. This would have catastrophic consequences for global stability," Jaishankar stated.
The Indian cabinet minister also highlighted the importance of a resumption of commercial flights from Kabul Airport.
He said that normalisation was important for a regular flow of relief material, adding that such access to Afghanistan would help accelerate the domestic relief measures.
"It's important that issue of travel and safe passage that can emerge as an obstacle to humanitarian assistance be immediately sorted out. Those who wish to travel in and out of Afghanistan should be granted such facilities without obstruction."
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced a $20 million allocation to support the humanitarian operation in Afghanistan, saying the "de facto" authorities in the war-torn country have "pledged" to cooperate to ensure that assistance is delivered to the people.
Last week, the Taliban formed an interim government with Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, one of the militant movement's founders, being made the head of the government (Prime Minister), and Sirajuddin Haqqani, the FBI-wanted leader of the Haqqani militant group getting the post of Interior Minister in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries
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