Terrorism from Pak, Afghan on agenda for talks: Hamid Ansari



On Board Special Aircraft: The issue of terrorism emanating from Pakistan and Afghanistan and ways to get access to further trade with resource-rich Tajikistan will be on the agenda of Vice President Hamid Ansari's talks with Tajik leadership.

"One area of common interest between two of us and of high priority is the problem of terrorism emanating from the territory between us and them -- which means Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Tajikistan has enormous interest in the stability of Afghanistan. We have the same kind of interests, same kind of concerns. So this is an area where cooperation and exchange has taken place on a continuation basis. And it is also an area of convergence," Ansari told media persons accompanying him.

He said both the countries have suffered due to terrorism across their borders. "They have suffered on their own from terrorism, very considerably. Therefore, they are very sensitive to the issue of terrorism. Just as we have suffered from terrorism across our borders, they have suffered from terrorism across their borders.

This case, terrorism emanating from Afghanistan. So they have concerns about various kind of extremists movements which they have managed now to bring under control. It remains a live issue," said the Vice President.

He said the two sides exchange information on the issue of terrorism and there is a working group that meets on counter-terrorism.

Ansari is on a four-day visit to Tajikistan to discuss ways to boost country's bilateral ties with the central Asian nation.

He said both the nations have good relations.

"Our relations with them are good, extremely good. Politically very good relations, commercially modest. The total trade turnover is about USD 34-35 million. We have rendered a good deal of assistance to them in a variety of small projects and that assistance is continuing," he said.

Ansari said the withdrawal of international security forces from Afghanistan in 2014 is being watched by every country.

"As far as the withdrawal from Afghanistan of ISF is concerned this is something everybody is watching. We are also watching. Let us see how things shape up," he said.

The Vice President hoped there will be development of trade with the central Asian nation and India was working on finding an easier access for trade exchanges.

"Trade will develop. Our main problem is not only with Tajikistan but with all the central Asian states is of access. We do not have a line of entry to central Asia," he said.

Ansari's visit is a part of India's connect Central Asia policy, unveiled last year, aimed at greater political, economic and people-to-people engagement with Central Asian nations like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

This is the first ever visit by an Indian Vice-President to Tajikistan, a hydrocarbon and minerals-rich nation.

PTI