Elected representatives should have leading voices in deciding Afghanistan's future: India

New York [USA], Nov 28 (ANI): Elected representatives in Afghanistan should have the leading voices in deciding the future of the country, India has stressed, adding that it believes that any solution towards achieving peace should have a "constitutional legitimacy" and a "political mandate" such that they do not leave "ungoverned spaces for terrorists and their proxies to exploit."

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on the situation in Afghanistan, Vidisha Maitra, India's First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN said that New Delhi welcomes the opportunities created by the various initiatives towards a formal peace process at the international, regional and domestic levels.

"While the international community must be united in supporting these efforts, we do not believe in advancing prescriptions. In any country, it is the people of that country and the elected representatives of that country who should have the leading voice in deciding their future - this has always been one of India's guiding principles in its engagement with Afghanistan,"

"We believe that only durable solution will be one which has constitutional legitimacy and a political mandate; which will ensure stability; and most importantly, which will not leave ungoverned spaces for terrorists and their proxies to exploit."

Underlining that India has a long-standing historical, cultural, economic, developmental, and political relationship with Afghanistan, the Indian diplomat said that New Delhi's development partnership with Kabul has a focus on institutional capacity building, health, education, and empowerment of women and youth, always keeping Afghan needs and priorities at the forefront.

Building reliable connectivity for landlocked Afghanistan is a key component of our regional partnership. In undertaking those endeavours, we are mindful that all such projects should respect State sovereignty and territorial integrity and be based on universally recognized international norms, transparency, rule of law, principles of financial responsibility, and ecological standards," she said.

The diplomat said that India commends the people, government and security forces of Afghanistan for successfully conduction Presidential elections amidst "extremely challenging circumstances".

"The enthusiastic participation of the Afghan people, including women, in the process, despite threats, intimidation and violence, reflects their desire and faith in democratic governance and rejection of the evil forces of terror and violence," she said. (ANI)