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  India   All India  05 Dec 2016  Heart of Asia: Strong, resolute action needed, says Modi

Heart of Asia: Strong, resolute action needed, says Modi

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 5, 2016, 5:17 am IST
Updated : Dec 5, 2016, 5:41 am IST

PM Modi was speaking at the Heart of Asia meet on Afghanistan’s situation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani shake hands at 6th Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar. (Photo: PTI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani shake hands at 6th Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi/Amritsar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday that terrorism and externally-induced instability pose the gravest threat to Afghanistan’s peace, stability and prosperity, and asserted that “silence and inaction against terrorism in Afghanistan and our region will only embolden terrorists and their masters”.

Without naming Pakistan, PM Modi said that mere support for peace in Afghanistan is not enough and that “it must be backed by resolute action not just against forces of terrorism, but also against those who support, shelter, train and finance them”. PM Modi was speaking at the Heart of Asia meet on Afghanistan’s situation. India has always maintained that Pakistan is openly supporting, backing and financing terror on Indian soil, the latest incident being an attack in Jammu’s Nagrota.

India also announced plans to connect Afghanistan with India through an air transport corridor, a move that will give India leverage in Afghanistan as Pakistan continues to deny transit link through its territory.

“Let us also reflect with urgency on what more must be done and what we must avoid in Afghanistan so that its citizens can self-sustain peace and economic growth,” the PM said.

He said an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled process is the key. “We must demonstrate strong collective will to defeat terror networks that cause bloodshed and spread fear. Terrorism and externally-induced instability pose the gravest threat to Afghanistan’s peace, stability and prosperity. And, the growing arc of terrorist violence endangers our entire region,” he said.  

The PM said support for voices of peace in Afghanistan alone is not enough. “It must be backed by resolute action. Not just against forces of terrorism, but also against those who support, shelter, train and finance them,” PM Modi said, adding, “Silence and inaction against terrorism in Afghanistan and our region will only embolden terrorists and their masters.”

“Our bilateral and regional commitments of material assistance for Afghanistan’s development and humanitarian needs must continue and increase,” he said.

On Indian contribution for Afghanistan’s development, PM Modi said, “We also plan to connect Afghanistan with India through an air transport corridor. President Ghani and I have discussed additional measures for deepening our bilateral cooperation. We are making progress in developing plans for utilisation of the additional 1 billion US Dollar earmarked by India for capacity and capability building in Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, PM Modi and President Ghani also held bilateral talks on a range of key issues, including cross-border terrorism, and decided to strengthen counter-terror cooperation between the two countries.

“Both leaders exchanged views on the common threat of terrorism, especially the cross-border nature of the scourge which had caused immense suffering to the people of India and Afghanistan. In this context, the two leaders agreed to strengthen counter terror cooperation between the two countries, and enhance coordination at the UN and other relevant fora,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

“Both leaders agreed to operationalise the additional amount of one billion US dollars for bilateral cooperation especially in capacity building, skill development, infrastructure building and connectivity linkages, including through a possible air corridor between India and Afghanistan to overcome obstacles to promotion of bilateral trade,” Mr Swarup was quoted by news agencies as saying in Amritsar. Afghanistan is learnt to have sought enhanced supply of military hardware from India.

Tags: narendra modi, heart of asia, ashraf ghani
Location: India, Punjab, Amritsar