‘Neighbours of Afghanistan’ must act against terror havens, says Jaitley

Govt, RBI taking steps to lower digital transaction cost: FM
Govt, RBI taking steps to lower digital transaction cost: FM

AMRISTAR : India today said it will be the “collective duty” of the comity of nations to ensure that the forces of terrorism “do not find sanctuaries and safe havens” in any name or form in the region and in particular urged Pakistan to adhere to the internationally accepted red-lines.
“Neighbours of Afghanistan have a particular responsibility in this regard. There is also a need to neither differentiate between good and bad terrorists, nor to play one group against the other,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his welcome address at the ‘Heart of Asia, Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference’ here.
“Taliban, Haqqani Network, Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad are all terror organisations and should be treated as such,” said Mr Jaitley, who is substituting the ailing External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the meet.
“It is also our collective duty to ensure that the resurgent forces of terrorism and extremism do not find sanctuaries and safe havens in any name, form or manifestation. There is also a need to neither differentiate between good and bad terrorists, nor to play one group against the other,” he said.
Setting the tone of the conference for making concerted efforts to fight terrorism in achieving ‘prosperity’ for Afghanistan, Mr Jaitley further said, “End to terrorism and extremism, and adherence to internationally accepted red-lines including renouncing of violence, severing ties with Al Qaeda and other terrorist outfits and commitment to democracy and human rights are essential for successful reconciliation and lasting peace in Afghanistan.”
Mr Jaitley said Afghanistan has the potential to be the land bridge between various parts of the vast and dynamic Eurasian landmass and thus, for India, the issue of connectivity for Afghanistan is not a mere talking-point.
“We strongly believe that the lack of connectivity directly impacts the economic, security and political situation in Afghanistan. A well connected Afghanistan will be economically vibrant and prosperous and also politically stable,” he said, adding it will be able to engage the energies of its youth and attract its talents back from the foreign lands.
“Earlier this year, we achieved a milestone by signing the trilateral transit and transport agreement among India, Iran and Afghanistan for provision of year-round and reliable connectivity to Afghanistan via Chahbahar in Iran.
This endeavour will overcome the lack of direct overland access for Afghanistan through Indian markets,” he pointed out.
Afghanistan will further benefit from the zero duty available to Afghanistan’s exports to India, he said. The multiple benefits to Afghanistan will accrue “if Afghan trucks could carry Indian products to markets in Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond and indeed vice-versa”.
In this regard, India is willing to receive Afghan trucks on its territory, at Attari. “We will be happy to create necessary facilities for Afghan products at Attari,” the Finance Minister said.
Stating that the scourge of terrorism in the entire region, has made the current year “the worst in a very long time”, Mr Jaitley lauded the role of the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan people for countering the forces of terrorism and extremism with courage and resilience.
“Their (Afghan forces) role was also critical in safeguarding the diplomatic community’s presence in Afghanistan. India saw two of its Consulates in Mazar-e-Sharif and Jalalabad attacked in this year alone.
It was only the courage and dedication of the Afghan security forces that ensured the safety of our personnel,” he said.
For its part, India will be too happy to work with Afghanistan to strengthen its capabilities to fight terrorism and violence directed at it.
(AGENCIES)

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