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UN observers proposed in Afghanistan following NATO withdrawal from country

July 1, 2012 - Washington

Two former diplomats, an Indian and an American, have proposed to deploy United Nations observers in Afghanistan to keep a watch on its borders with neighbouring countries as US-led NATO forces withdraw from the war-torn country.

"Afghanistan's troubles have been caused largely by external powers meddling in its internal affairs for their own reasons, starting with the Soviet invasion in 1979," The Nation quoted Chinmaya Gharekhan, India's former UN ambassador, and Karl Inderfurth, an ex-US Assistant Secretary of state for South Asian Affairs, as saying.

"Afghanistan's future security requires that a mechanism be put into place to ensure that the signatories to the pledge of non-interference live up to their commitment," they said.

"One possibility is to set up a United Nations observer group to keep a watch on along the borders and report violations or complaints to the Security Council," they added.

"The UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon) should start to lay the groundwork for this regional security initiative, without banking on successful progress on the other two tracks, strengthening the Afghan national security forces and political reconciliation," they said.

"The security forces should, and probably will, be better equipped and trained by then, but it would be prudent not to be overconfident about their ability," they said.hough US forces will remain in significant numbers beyond 2014, they will be there in a training capacity, and it is not clear whether they would intervene to help Afghan forces..."


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