India, Afghanistan call for end to state sponsorship of terror

India, Afghanistan call for end to state sponsorship of terror

In a veiled reference to Pakistan, India and Afghanistan on Monday called for an end to all forms of support and state sponsorship of terrorism following the Second Strategic Partnership Council Meeting led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani here.

“Both sides expressed grave concern at the incidents of terror and violence in Afghanistan resulting loss of innocent lives,” said a joint statement issued following the talks.

“Noting that terrorism presented the greatest threat to peace, stability and progress of the region and beyond, they called for an end to all forms of support, state sponsorship, safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists against Afghanistan,” it said.

The statement assumes significance given US President Donald Trump’s assertion of the importance of India’s role in war-torn Afghanistan’s reconstruction and leaders of the BRICS nations naming Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad as terror threats in their summit-level meeting in China earlier this month.

Both India and Afghanistan are victims of terrorism emanating out of Pakistani soil.

India and Afghanistan agreed to strengthen security cooperation with New Delhi extending further assistance for the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in fighting the scourge of terrorism, organised crime, trafficking of narcotics and money laundering, according to the joint statement.

“The Indian side reiterated its support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process,” it stated.

“It was agreed that concrete, meaningful and verifiable steps for immediate cessation of violence were essential for the success of regional and international efforts to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan.”

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