Pranab seeks Tajikistan's support to combat terror



New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday sought Tajikistan's cooperation in combating terrorism and also collaboration in industries, trade and tourism to boost bilateral ties.

"We live in a region beset with many challenges posed by extremist and fundamentalist forces. The menace of terrorism is a common threat. No faith supports such means. No politics can justify it. India and Tajikistan can do much to combat terrorism," he said during the banquet organised at Rashtrapati Bhavan for his Tajik Emomali Rahmon.

As secular countries, it is essential for us to preserve the secular values of our societies and ensure their safety and security. Our government looks forward to working with Tajikistan to meet these challenges, he said.

Rahmon is on a four-day state visit to India ending tomorrow.

"Our common goals seek to ensure the progress and development of our peoples.

The potential of our bilateral co-operation has no limit.We need to work together to overcome the adverse effects, on our economies, of the global economic slowdown.

"Let us collaborate in industries, trade, renewable energy, tourism, culture, and let us support each other in technology, education, and in the capacity building of our peoples," Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee also sought cooperation from Tajikistan in pursuing common goals at the international level including prosperity of Afghanistan as a key to peace and stability in South and Central Asia.

"While we take our relationship to a higher level of a strategic partnership, let us also enhance our co-operation in pursuing our common goals in international fora.

"In all our efforts, peace and stability of the region must be accorded the foremost importance. The independence and progress towards prosperity of Afghanistan is key to peace and stability in South Asia and Central Asia," he said.

Calling Tajikistan as an "old friend of India", Mukherjee said a strong relationship has existed, from pre-historic times, between India and Central Asia, and in particular, the Tajik people.

He expressed confidence that relations between the two countries "will grow even stronger and closer; just as it should be between two brotherly nations".

India and Tajikistan today inked six pacts in several areas including business and trade, health, culture, sports and education.

Mukherjee said these agreements will prove to be an "important milestone".

PTI