National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday (October 17) said that terrorism is “unjustifiable” regardless of its motivation or cause while also highlighting that it continues to constitute one of the most serious threats to international peace.
Doval addressed a conclave of NSAs of India and central Asian countries in Kazakhstan, and offered a fully funded capacity building programmes by New Delhi in a wide range of areas to the participating nations.
He said that India is ready to provide the central Asian nations the technology relating to United Payment Interface (UPI) free of cost for their independent use.
The NSA said that setting up of sovereign digital payment systems will greatly enhance commercial linkages between India and Central Asia, which would benefit people who may come to India for medical treatment, according to sources.
Economic integration India’s priority
He said that connectivity and economic integration with the Central Asian countries is one of the key priorities of India.
“However, while promoting connectivity, it is important to ensure that connectivity initiatives are consultative, transparent and participatory,” he said.
Doval said connectivity initiatives should respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and that they should also adhere to environmental parameters, ensure financial viability and not become debt burdens.
His remarks came amid the increasing criticism of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
He observed that the absence of direct land access between Central Asia and India is an anomaly in this context.
This absence of direct connectivity is the result of a conscious policy of denial by a particular country, he said in comments seen as an indirect reference to Pakistan.
The first meeting of NSAs and Secretaries of Security Councils of India and Central Asian nations was held on December 6 last year in New Delhi.
Doval on Afghanistan
The NSA said that the situation in Afghanistan is a “cause of concern”.
“Our common immediate priorities include providing humanitarian assistance, ensuring formation of a truly inclusive and representative government combating terrorism and drug trafficking and preserving the rights of women, children and them minorities,” he said.
India is deeply involved in the humanitarian assistance being provided to the Afghan people, he said.
In line with India’s approach to encourage sports in Afghanistan, the Afghan cricket team is in India to play in the ICC World Cup, Doval said.
(With PTI inputs)
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