EAM Jaishankar meets UN Assistance Mission chief, discusses current situation in Afghanistan

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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar expressed pleasure at welcoming Special Representative Roza Otunbayeva, head of United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), here on Thursday morning.

In an official post on X, Jaishankar said they discussed the present situation in Afghanistan and exchanged viewpoints. “Glad to receive Special Representative Roza Otunbayeva, Head of UNAMA this morning. Exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan,” stated Jaishankar in his post on X.

Further, Jaishankar emphasized that India has provided wheat, medicines, pesticides, and school supplies in order to help Afghanistan. “Underlined that India has provided wheat, medicines, pesticides and school supplies. Appreciate the role of UN agencies as partners in these endeavors. Jaishankar added.

Recently, in January India supplied 40,000 litres of Malathion, a pesticide used to fight locust menace, through the Chabahar port, in its continued efforts to help Afghanistan. Last month, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Head of the UN Deputy Mission in Afghanistan, Roza Otenbayeva, has once again drawn attention to the growing risk that prohibitions on women would drive Afghanistan even deeper into poverty and isolation.

The head of the UN Deputy Mission in Afghanistan urged the Taliban to abolish the restrictions placed on women and girls as the world observes International Women’s Solidarity Day on March 8. Otenbayeva said she regrets seeing in Afghanistan a “disastrous negative investment” rather than investing in women, which causes serious harm to women and girls and impedes peace and prosperity, according to a statement released by UNAMA.

The dire need for swift action to alleviate the situation of women and girls–who are disproportionately impacted by the conflict and socioeconomic limitations–is highlighted by the global leaders. In order to ensure that women actively participate in defining the future of their country and contribute to peace and prosperity for all, it is crucial that coordinated efforts be made to remove obstacles, promote inclusivity, and support women’s rights in Afghanistan as the international world rallies support for their rights.

Notably, many governments across the world have denounced the Taliban’s full-scale attack on the rights of Afghan women and girls. Despite the Taliban’s initial promise to take a moderate approach towards women’s rights after it seized power in August 2021, the ban on higher education is just one of many steps that the armed group has taken to further segregate the country and limit women’s role in society.

In the immediate aftermath of August 2021, the Taliban banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade and imposed strict rules requiring women to wear hijabs and to travel only with a male chaperone.

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