Patil asks countries to take measures to eliminate terrorism

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil shakes hands with her Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon during a meeting at Arr Palace of Nations (Kasri Millat) in Dushanbe. AP

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.

Officials involved in the delegation level talks said Patil discussed with Tajikistan leader the need for Pakistan to respond to the evidence given to it on the Mumbai attacks and dismantling of terror infrastructure in that country.
Though both sides expressed particular happiness on the exchange of high level visits, they felt the volume of trade (USD 25 million) was not reflective of the actual potential.
Seeking India's cooperation in field of science and technology, communication and information technology, the Tajikistan side said energy was a major issue for cooperation.
Given its own quest for energy to ensure sustained growth, India felt the need for tapping hydro power potential of Tajikistan which, according to various studies, has the capacity to produce 40,000 MW to 80,000 MW of power.
Both sides recognised the need to cooperate in the power sector, officials said.
The discussion also referred to the Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity Management and the need for the safe outlet of power generated.
Russian has built Sangtuda-I hydroelectric power project whose 120 km line has been laid upto Afghan border and India is also renovating the Varzob-I hydroelectric power plant through NHPC and BHEL in Tajikitan.
China and Iran are the other countries involved in the hydroelectric power projects in Tajikistan.
"Tajikistan is keen on selling power and India is a major market," they said.

On defence cooperation between India and Tajikistan, the official said it has been a major area of interest between the two countries.
India has been offering training to Tajik cadets and also decided to increase assistance under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) which could be utilised for the purpose.

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