India and UK have come out with a joint statement on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart Boris Johnson. The statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said that both countries are calling on the Taliban to allow girls to return to secondary school.
Both countries expressed "serious concern" about the humanitarian situation, violations of human rights, and the hampered access of girls and women to education in the joint statement, reported ANI.
A new analysis by Save the Children, UNICEF was released on Friday which said almost 80% of Afghan girls are missing out on their education due to the Taliban's extended ban on secondary school girls attending classes. About 850,000 secondary school girls (out of 1.1 million) are not able to attend classes.
The Taliban extended the ban last month which disappointed girls who were excited about going back to school. Save the Children Afghanistan's Acting Asia Regional Director, Olivier Franchi said girls were "absolutely shattered" when they arrived at classes excited for the new school year and were told to go home. "Save the Children has spoken with girls who say they are depressed and heartbroken at being denied their fundamental right to learn."
The need for a representative and inclusive political system for a peaceful, secure, and stable Afghanistan was also emphasised in India-UK joint statement. Both nations have agreed to continue the immediate humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
PM Modi acknowledged the role of the UK in co-hosting the UN Afghanistan Conference for the humanitarian response on March 31. Mr Johnson acknowledged the role played by India in providing medical and food grain assistance to Afghans.
The joint statement also reaffirmed the importance of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2593 (2021) which demands Afghan territory not be used for sheltering, training, planning, or financing terrorist acts. Both leaders have called for action against terrorist groups including those sanctioned by United Nations Security Council.