New Delhi: India, as a member of the United Nations Security Council will be heading three crucial committees — the Taliban sanctions committee, the counter-terrorism committee for the year 2022, and the Libya sanctions committee.
With New Delhi chairing the Taliban sanctions and counter-terror committees, India gets a crucial multilateral say in the Afghan peace process and Pakistan’s terror record, which will increase the heat on Islamabad.
India’s envoy for UN TS Tirumurti said, “The UNSC establishes subsidiary bodies on specific issues, including on sanctions regime….The Taliban sanctions committee also called the 1988 sanctions committee has always been a high priority for India keeping in mind our strong interest and commitment for peace, security, development, and progress of Afghanistan.”
With a clear foothold in the Taliban sanctions committee which is also a committee dealing with terror and counter-terror committee, the spotlight will come even more on Islamabad’s lackluster record on acting on cross-border terror.
The Indian envoy highlighted, “our chairing of the committee in this juncture will help keep the focus on the presence of terrorists and their sponsors threatening peace process in Afghanistan. It has been our view, that peace process and violence cannot go hand in hand”
It is important to recall, that the Taliban has to take approval from the sanctions committee members for travel. Recently the top members of the group including, Abdul Ghani Baradar was in Pakistan and met the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi. An increased level of violence may dissuade members to give future approval on travel for the Taliban.
India already has a bilateral focus in Afghanistan, by building a number of major infrastructure projects in the country and be part of the capacity building. The current development increases New Delhi’s engagement in a global format.
On chairing the Counter Terror body, the envoy said, “the chairing of this committee has been a special resonance for India which has not only been in the forefront of fighting terrorism especially cross border terrorism but has also been one of its biggest victims”
India chairs the committee in 2022, which is also its 75th Independence year with New Delhi expected to put further scrutiny on terror sponsors by being part of the body. The committee was formed after the 9/11 attacks in New York and bolsters the ability of United Nations Member States to prevent terrorist acts both within their borders and across regions. India had chaired the committee in its last tenure at UNSC in 2011-2012.
When it comes to the Libya Sanctions Committee, also known as the 1970 sanctions committee, the Indian envoy said, “we will be assuming the chair of the committee at a critical juncture when there is international focus on Libya and on the peace process”
The committee implements the sanctions regime, a 2-way arms embargo on Libya, assets freeze, travel ban, measures on the illicit exports of petroleum etc. The permanent five members of the UNSC play an important role in this committee and development comes as New Delhi increases its wider engagement in that part of the world.