UN envoy calls for Security Council action to avert catastrophe in Afghanistan

Published August 7, 2021
UN Special Representative Deborah Lyons pointed out that Taliban militants were now targeting major cities. — AFP/File
UN Special Representative Deborah Lyons pointed out that Taliban militants were now targeting major cities. — AFP/File

UNITED NATIONS: The top UN official in Afghanistan appealed to the Security Council on Friday to act now to avert a catastrophe in the war-torn country.

Pakistan, while acknowledging the growing concern over Afghanistan, warned the world body not to allow India to “project a distorted picture” during its presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC). India called Friday’s special session to consider the situation in Afghanistan. India took over the council’s presidency this week for the month of August.

UN Special Representative Deborah Lyons pointed out that Taliban militants were now targeting major cities and the situation in the country was reminiscent of the Syrian and Balkan wars.

“Afghanistan is now at a dangerous turning point,” Ms Lyons, who heads the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) told the council.

“Ahead lies either a genuine peace negotiation or a tragically intertwined set of crises: an increasingly brutal conflict combined with an acute humanitarian situation and multiplying human rights abuses,” she warned.

“The concern about the situation in Afghanistan is understandable,” said Pakistan’s UN ambassador Munir Akram, “it’s, however, important that the Security Council makes an objective evaluation of the situation.”

Underlining India’s tendency to distort facts, Ambassador Akram warned: “Under Indian presidency, there may be an effort to project a distorted picture in the Security Council, which could further complicate the endeavor to promote a political settlement.”

Published in Dawn, August 7th, 2021

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