Patil asks countries to take measures to eliminate terrorism

Patil asks countries to take measures to eliminate terrorism

President Pratibha Patil, who is in Tajikistan on a three-day state visit, conveyed India's concerns about terrorist threats during talks with her Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon, which also covered a wide-ranging cooperation in the field of education, culture, investment and enhanced business transactions.

She also sought the Central Asian nation's support in eliminating terrorism from the region.

"Our region is today beset by the menace of terrorism. Terrorism, extremism and fundametalism are posing a serious threat to the peace and secuity in our region, be it India, Afghanistan, or Tajikistan," Patil said.

Observing that the 26/11 attacks were one more manifestation of terrorism in the region, she said it was imperative that all goverments of the region take "urgent, proactive measures to cooperate and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, so that these forces do not derail the processes of progress and prosperity".

"We value the support of Tajikistan in the fight against terrorism," she said in a statement.

India and Tajikistan are together in the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and New Delhi believes that concerted efforts between the two nations against terrorism and extremism would contribute greatly to peace and stability in the region.

Patil, the first Indian President to visit the Central Asian Region, said her talks with the Tajik leadership were "extremely useful" and covered issues of bilateral, regional and international importance.

She would be participating in the Independence Day celebrations of Tajikistan, a rare honour given to a foreign dignitary, tomorrow. Describing that the Central Asian Region as "our extended neighbourhood" and Dushanbe was geographically close to Delhi, she said "the Central Asian Region figures very high in our foreign policy priorities".

The President said New Delhi considered iself to be a partner in Dushanbe's quest for improving the skills and qualifications of its people. Noting that over the years, India provided training and participation for candidates from Tajikistan in various human resource development programmes in various fields, she said "we propose to continue doing so".

Patil also invited the Tajik President to visit India again soon to take forward many of the new ideas for bilateral cooperation that they had discussed.

Patil also assured India's support in the field of information technology, entrepreneurial skills, defence training, English language and management.

India's ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation) programme offered short-term training programmes in these and other fields to about 100 candidates from Tajikistan and  also undertook several small scale developmental and human resource projects in the region.

Tajikistan is one of the largest beneficiaries of the ITEC programme.