Modi launches redevelopment project of temple
MANAMA, Aug 25: In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India and Bahrain today called on the international community to reject the use of terrorism against other countries as both sides agreed to further enhance cooperation in the field of security and counter-terrorism.
A joint statement, issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and prince and Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa during his two-day visit to Bahrain, said the two sides exchanged views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest during the meetings.
“Both sides called on all States to reject the use of terrorism against other countries; dismantle terrorism infrastructures where they happen to exist and to cut off any kind of support and financing to the terrorists perpetrating terrorism from all territories against other States; and bring perpetrators of acts of terrorism to justice,” the statement said without referring to any country.
India has been pressing Pakistan to end its State policy of backing cross-border terrorism and its support to terror groups on its soil.
During Modi’s visit to Bahrain, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, that concluded today, the two sides also discussed ways and means to further promote cooperation in cyber security, including prevention of use of cyber space for terrorism, radicalisation and for disturbing social harmony.
Both the countries agreed to further enhance cooperation in the field of security, counter-terrorism and the exchange of intelligence and information, the statement said.
The leaders also noted the “need for concerted action by the international community against terrorism” and “underlined the importance of comprehensive sanctioning of terrorists and their organisations by the UN”.
They also said that regional connectivity projects should be based on international law, including respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of States, in an apparent reference to China’s push for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
During the meetings, the two sides also noted the increasing trend of bilateral trade and existing potential for two-way investments and reaffirmed their desire to provide favourable environments for trade and investments.
The two countries agreed to focus on enhancing cooperation in energy, covering the areas of joint exploration and training of human resources.
The two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf region, vital for the security and safety of sea lanes.
The two sides underlined the importance of enhancing high-level political exchanges, defence and higher education cooperation, trade and economic relations and people-to-people linkages.
The leaders also noted the increasing trend of bilateral trade and existing potential for two-way investments and reaffirmed their desire to provide favourable environments for trade and investments.
India also welcomed the interest of Bahrain to join the International Solar alliance (ISA), recognising the importance of it as international intergovernmental organisation, which has become an effective platform to facilitate the deployment of solar energy.
Both the sides also emphasised on the urgent need to pursue UN reforms, including the Security Council through an expansion of both categories of its membership, to make it more representative and effective in tackling global challenges.
The two countries also signed MoUs on cultural exchange programme, space technology, solar energy, the statement said.
An MoU was also signed between BENEFIT, a Bahrain company handling ATM and POS transactions among others, and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for launch of RuPay card in the Gulf Kingdom, it said.
During the official meetings, the two sides also underlined their close bilateral ties, deep-rooted in shared history and cultural affinities, sustained and nourished through growing economic linkages and close people-to-people contacts.
Modi’s Bahrain visit “was a historical and important milestone in the long-standing brotherly ties and bilateral cooperation between the two countries, founded on close historical bonds, shared principles, mutual interests as well as common aspiration for international peace, stability and prosperity,” the statement said.
On Saturday, the Prime Minister was conferred the King Hamad Order of the Renaissance by King Hamad in recognition of his efforts to strengthen bilateral relations with the key Gulf nation.
Meanwhile, Modi today launched the USD 4.2 million redevelopment project of the 200-year-old Lord Shri Krishna temple here and said it manifests the strong ties between India and Bahrain.
Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the key Gulf nation, offered prayers at the Shreenathji Temple in Manama, the oldest temple in the region, and also the ‘prasad’ that he bought with the RuPay card after launching it in the UAE on Saturday.
“Spent time at Bahrain’s Shreenathji Temple. This is among the oldest temples in the region and manifests the strong ties between India and Bahrain,” Modi tweeted and shared some of the blessed moments from the temple in his tweet.
Modi also greeted and interacted the Indian diaspora, who came to witness the event at the temple.
Prime Minister then unveiled the plaque, thus officially launching the redevelopment project of the iconic temple.
“Thank you Bahrain for the warmth and affection. PM @narendramodi concludes his historic visit with prayers at the 200 years old Shreenathji Temple in #Manama, the oldest temple in the region. The temple reflects the pluralism of Bahraini society,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.
The facelift for the Shreenathji (Shree Krishna) temple in Manama will kick off later this year.
The USD 4.2 million redevelopment project will be on a piece of land measuring 16,500 square feet and the new four-floor structure covering 45,000 square feet will have an overall height of 30 meters.
The heritage and the 200-year-old legacy of the temple will be highlighted in the redevelopment and the new iconic complex will house the sanctum sanctorum and prayer halls.
There are also facilities for traditional Hindu marriage ceremonies and other rituals, promoting Bahrain as a wedding destination and boosting tourism.
The temple corridors will be adorned with paintings by various Indian and Bahraini artists and people of all faiths are welcome.
Around 350,000 Indian nationals, mostly from Kerala, live in Bahrain. The Indian community comprise a third of Bahrain’s total population of 1.2 million.
Modi arrived here on Saturday, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister to Bahrain. (PTI)
Modi launches redevelopment project of temple