White House Photo/Cameron Smith

US and Indian leaders emphasize inclusive political structure in Afghanistan

In a joint statement, U.S. President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of formation of an inclusive political structure in Afghanistan and called on the Taliban to respect the human rights of all citizens of Afghanistan, including women and girls.

The statement was released on Thursday during Modi’s visit to Washington, reaffirming the support of U.S. and Indian leaders for a peaceful, secure, and stable Afghanistan.

According to the statement, Biden and Modi discussed the ongoing humanitarian situation and agreed on the need to continue to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

They urged the Taliban to comply with UNSC Resolution 2593, which prohibits the use of Afghanistan’s soil to threaten or attack any nation, harbor or train terrorists, or plan and finance terrorist activities.

Demonstrating commitment to continue close consultations on the situation in Afghanistan, Biden and Modi underscored the significance of formation of an inclusive political structure in the country.

Many countries had previously pressed on the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan, a condition for the recognition of the Taliban government. However, the group maintains that its current government is inclusive despite consisting solely of its members from the Pashtun ethnic group.

The statement also calls on the Taliban to respect the human rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, and to respect freedom of movement. Currently, under Taliban rule, women face employment restrictions, and girls are denied access to education. Taliban officials argue that the group has ensured the “Islamic rights” of women.

In regard to the issue of global terrorism, part of the statement reads, “The United States and India stand together to counter global terrorism and unequivocally condemn terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations.”

The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of India called for concerted action against all UN-listed terrorist groups including Al-Qa’ida, ISIS/Daesh, Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Hizb-ul-Mujhahideen.

They strongly condemned cross-border terrorism and the use of terrorist proxies. They called on Pakistan to take immediate action to ensure that no territory under its control is used for launching terrorist attacks.