Context:

Officials have said that there are no requests from the UN Security Council Permanent members for the delisting of the Taliban’s top leadership from sanctions thus far.

They also refuted reports that the next meeting of the Taliban Sanctions Committee also known as the resolution 1988 committee, due in September 2021, would lift restrictions on designated terrorists like Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mullah Baradar.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India and its neighbourhood, Important International Institutions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Background: History of the Resolution 1267 (1999)
  2. Resolution 1988 Committee Meeting
  3. Importance of Sanctions for India

Background: History of the Resolution 1267 (1999)

  • In 1999, the UNSC Committee was established pursuant to Resolution 1267 (1999), which imposed a limited air embargo and asset freeze on the Taliban.
  • Over time, measures became a targeted asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo against designated individuals and entities.
  • In June 2011, after the adoption of resolution 1988 (2011), the Committee split into two.
  • The 1267 Committee was henceforth known as the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, mandated to oversee implementation of the measures against individuals and entities associated with Al-Qaida.
  • A separate Committee was established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011) to oversee implementation of the measures against individuals and entities associated with the Taliban.

Resolution 1988 Committee Meeting

  • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN (UNPR) is the Chairman of the committee until December 2021, and is key to deciding the date of the meetings, and scrutinising requests to delist the Taliban leaders.
  • This is the first time the Committees would meet after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, and after the deadline for the US troops to pull-out.
  • A decision is likely to be taken on whether to extend the special travel exemptions given to 14 Taliban members to participate in the “peace and reconciliation efforts”.
  • The meeting could also discuss whether to include other Taliban leaders in the exemptions, giving them permission to travel and access some funds, which are frozen at the moment.
  • The stand taken by the UNSC members, particularly the P-5 — US, Russia, China, France and UK — would indicate how they intend to approach a future Taliban-led regime in Afghanistan.
  • This time around, the UN would have to decide on continuing the accreditation with Ambassador Ghulam Isaczai who was appointed by the ‘Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’, given the Taliban control of Kabul, and its insistence on changing the country’s flag, and name to the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’.
  • In 1996, the last time the Taliban took power in Kabul, the UN had refused to recognise the regime, and had continued the Ambassador nominated by the previous Rabbani government.

Importance of Sanctions for India

  • The reports concerning Sirajuddin Haqqani are significant for India as he and the Haqqani group, founded by his father Jalaluddin Haqqani, are wanted for the Indian Embassy bombings in Kabul in 2008 and 2009.
  • In November 2012, India was instrumental, as the then-President of the UN Security Council, in ensuring that the Haqqani group was designated as a terror entity.
  • India had worked with several countries to ensure the group was banned, both in the UN’s 1988 sanctions committee list as well as the US, which designated it a Foreign Terrorist Organisation at the same time.
  • Sirajuddin Haqqani, deputy to Taliban chief Haibatullah Akhundzada, is now likely to have considerable influence in the next government in Afghanistan.
  • His brother Anas Haqqani, who was arrested in 2014 for financing the group’s terror attacks, and was released as part of a hostage swap in 2019 from Bagram prison, is now one of the chief negotiators in government formation talks in Kabul.

-Source: The Hindu

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