Thu, 06 Dec 2012 12:07:56 GMT

Want to promote peace in Asian region: India



Bishkek, Dec 5 (PTI) Underlining that it strongly believes in promoting peace and prosperity in Asian region, India today said it seeks to strengthen the hands of the Afghan people in bringing peace and prosperity to their country.

India also said it looks forward to greater engagement with Regional Anti Terrorism Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent and the SCO member States in co-ordinating efforts to deal with the threats emanating from terrorism and drug trafficking.

"The situation in Afghanistan poses a major challenge and opportunity for the SCO, which provides a promising alternative regional platform to discuss and reflect upon the changing security situation in Afghanistan," Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs said at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of Government Meeting here today.

He said "India seeks to strengthen the hands of the Afghan people in bringing peace and prosperity to their country".

He underlined that India''s assistance to Afghanistan has helped build vital civil infrastructure, develop human resources and capacity in areas like education, health, agriculture and rural development.

"The primary objective of India''s development partnership, covering the entire territory of Afghanistan and every development sector, is to build indigenous Afghan capacity and institutions. We have no doubt that other members of the SCO family share these values and objectives," he said.

The SCO grouping comprises of China, Russia and Central Asian sates of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

India, Pakistan, Mongolia, Iran and Afghanistan have the status of observer states while Belarus and Sri Lanka are the dialogue partners.

Singh noted that India has long been a victim of terrorism and was acutely aware of the threat that terror poses.

"We thus value all the more the steady progress the SCO has made in building counter-terrorism efforts.

"The Regional Anti Terrorism Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent has contributed richly to this progress. We look forward to greater engagement with RATS and the SCO member States in co-ordinating efforts to deal with the threats emanating from terrorism and drug trafficking," he said. MORE PTI SAP AKJ

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