India on Thursday said it is concerned over reports that the Taliban have banned women from universities in Afghanistan, and renewed its call for setting up of an inclusive government in Kabul that ensures the equal rights of women and girls in all aspects of the Afghan society.
Several countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, have strongly condemned the Taliban's decisions to ban women from universities.
In March, the Taliban barred girls from going to secondary schools.
"We have noted with concern the reports in this regard. India has consistently supported the cause of female education in Afghanistan," Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
He was replying to queries on the issue during a media briefing.
"We have emphasised the importance of the establishment of an inclusive and representative government that respects the rights of all Afghans and ensures the equal rights of women and girls to participate in all aspects of Afghan society, including access to higher education," Bagchi said.
The MEA spokesperson also referred to the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2593 on Afghanistan.
"I would also recall UN Security Council Resolution 2593, which reaffirms the importance of upholding human rights, including those of women, and also calls for full, equal and meaningful participation of women," he said.
The UNSC resolution, adopted on August 30 last year under India's presidency of the global body, talked about the need for upholding human rights in Afghanistan, and demanded that Afghan territory should not be used for terrorism and that a negotiated political settlement should be found to the crisis.