BRICS leaders call for peaceful settlement in Afghanistan

Published September 10, 2021
This handout photograph provided by the Press Information Bureau shows leaders of the BRICS nations, clockwise from top left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a video conference, in New Delhi on Thursday. — AP
This handout photograph provided by the Press Information Bureau shows leaders of the BRICS nations, clockwise from top left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a video conference, in New Delhi on Thursday. — AP

NEW DELHI: Leaders of the five-nation BRICS club (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for settling the situation in Afghanistan through peaceful means.

The declaration at the virtual summit held through video conference said the leaders also sought an “inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue so as to ensure stability, civil peace, law and order”. While the theme for the summit is “cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus’’, the focus remained on Afghanistan, NDTV said. The “New Delhi Declaration” adopted at the end of the summit also emphasised the need to “address the humanitarian situation and to uphold human rights, including those of women, children and minorities”.

The five-nation grouping also underscored their “priority of fighting terrorism, including preventing attempts by terrorist organisations to use Afghan territory as terrorist sanctuary and to carry out attacks against other countries”.

The declaration said they were “committed to combating terrorism... including cross-border movement of terrorists, and terrorism financing networks and safe havens”.

Strong comments on the subject during the summit came from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who spoke of the possible threats an unstable Afghanistan might pose to neighbouring countries.

Afghanistan should not become a “threat to its neighbouring countries, a source of drug trafficking and terrorism”. Its citizens, he said, “deserve to exercise their rights of defining of what their state will look like on their own”. He also made it clear whom his country held responsible for this situation.

“US and its allies’ withdrawal from Afghanistan has created a new crisis,” he said. “Global security has faced serious challenges and system of strategic stability has gone downhill. Outstanding regional conflicts haven’t stopped”.

This situation, he said, “stems from irresponsible attempts to impose alien values... To build a so-called democracy without taking into account historic features and traditions that other people have followed. It results in destabilisation and chaos and after that, the authors of this left and entire international community will have to clear up this mess.”

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2021

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