Heart of Asia declaration names Pak-sponsored terror groups, calls for dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries in region

 India and Afghanistan on Sunday hit out at an isolated Pakistan for sponsoring and supporting terrorism.

Heart of Asia declaration names Pak-sponsored terror groups, calls for dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries in region
Pic courtesy: @MEAIndia

Amritsar: The sixth conference of Heart of Asia, a platform to help Afghanistan in its transition, in its declaration on Sunday recognised terrorism as the biggest threat to peace.

At the same time, it demanded immediate end to all forms of terrorism.

Addressing the press, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "Terrorism was at core of the discussions. We remain concerned by high level of violence in Afghanistan caused by Taliban, terrorist groups including ISIL/DAISH and its affiliates Let, JeM etc. Acknowledging support that terrorism derives in our region, we demand immediate end to all forms of terrorism, as well as support and financing to it."

Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Hekmat Karzai was also present at the presser.

Enumerating the main points of the Amritsar Declaration, they said, "We strongly call for concerted regional and international coopeartion to ensure elimination of terrorism in all its forms, including dismantling of terrorist safe havens in HoA region, as well as disrupting all financial and logistical support for terrorism."

"We encourage early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism with consensus. We recognise the necessity of taking serious measures to address recruitment of youth to extremist and terrorist networks. We realise radicalisation of youth can only be prevented by effective de-radicalisation strategies involving all HoA countries," they added.

The declaration was adopted by Foreign Ministers and high-level representatives of the participating countries - Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, People's Republic of China, Republic of India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Russian Federation, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Nations. 

Some of the main points of the declaration is as follows:

- "We stress the need for advancing regional cooperation as an effective means to address common challenges and to promote security, stability and socio-economic development in the Heart of Asia region. We, therefore, renew our commitment to strengthening enhanced cooperation among member states in a sincere and effective manner."

- "We welcome the assumption of full responsibility for security by the ANDSF and for their role in fighting terrorism and violent extremism in Afghanistan. We welcome the agreements between the International Community and the Government of Afghanistan, and relevant decisions, which allow for continued financial support to the ANDSF until 2020 and assistance to them by the Post-ISAF Mission, in support of long-term security and stability in Afghanistan. We also pay tribute to the sacrifices made by the ANDSF and international forces."

- We remain concerned by the gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan in particular and the region and the high level of violence caused by the Taliban, terrorist groups including ISIL/DAISH and its affiliates, the Haqqani Network, al Qaida, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Jundullah and other foreign terrorist fighters."

-  We call upon all states to take action against these terrorist entities in accordance with their respective national counter-terrorism policies, their international obligations and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy 2006.Furthermore, we encourage early finalization of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism with consensus."

- "Recognizing once again that terrorism, violent extremism, radicalization, separatism, and sectarianism and linkages among them are the gravest challenges that the Heart of Asia region and the rest of the international community face, and these problems would continue to pose a severe threat to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, economic development and bilateral and regional cooperation, we renew our strong commitment to strengthening comprehensive cooperation among the Heart of Asia countries and intensify our efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations through solidarity and collective action."

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