New Delhi: India's approach to Afghanistan has always been guided by its "historical friendship" with its people, and this will "continue" to be the case, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said on Monday, Sept 13.
In his address at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan, Dr Jaishankar maintained: "I wish to underline that in the face of a grave emerging situation, India is willing to stand by the Afghan people, just as in the past. To ensure that this happens speedily and effectively, we believe that the international community must come together to create the best possible enabling environment."
He asserted it is essential that humanitarian assistance providers are accorded "unimpeded, unrestricted and direct access" to Afghanistan.
"Once relief materials reach that country, the world will naturally expect a non-discriminatory distribution of humanitarian assistance across all sections of the Afghan society," he said.
Dr Jaishankar said – "We believe that the UN Security Council resolution 2593 should guide the international community's approach in the coming days. Afghanistan is passing through a critical and challenging phase. There has been a sea change in its political, economic, social and security situation."
"As an immediate neighbour, India is monitoring developments with understandable concern," he remarked.
The Minister said it is important that travel and safe passage can emerge as an obstacle to humanitarian assistance, which should be sorted out immediately.
"Those who wish to travel into and out of Afghanistan should be granted such facilities without obstruction. The normalisation of regular commercial operations of Kabul airport would not only assist in that regard," he remarked.
Dr Jaishankar said, only the United Nations can monitor such endeavours and reassure donors.
"As the picture becomes clear in respect of the legitimate concerns, I am confident that the world will step forward and assist the Afghan people in their hour of need," he said.