Homeland Security

Terror provides no answers to peoples' problems: India

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, May 13, IRNA -- Denouncing terrorism and extremism, Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on Friday said such ideologies provide no answers to problems of the people and their flames should not be allowed to be fanned once again.

“The aspirations of the region for growth and prosperity cannot be realised unless there is peace and tranquility that would allow people to live and work in honour and dignity,” said Singh addressing the Afghan Parliament in Kabul, pti reported.

'The people of this region have lived together for centuries. This is our region and we have to survive together and flourish together,' Singh said as he wound up his two-day visit to Afghanistan.

Referring to the pain and suffering of Afghan people, he said: 'Terrorism and extremism are alien ideas to our people. They bring only death and destruction in their wake.

They provide no answers to the problems of poverty, illiteracy, hunger and disease.'

Asserting that such ideologies have no place in a civilised society, Singh said, 'Eventually, our centuries old traditions of peaceful co-existence, of living in peace and harmony with each other and with nature will prevail over these deviant ideologies.'

In his 25-minute speech which was applauded repeatedly by the 354 Afghan MPs, he emphasised 'We cannot and must not allow the flames of extremism and terrorism to be fanned once again.'

Singh noted that Afghanistan has undergone great 'trials and tribulations' but has over the last 10 years decided to turn its back on the past and face the future.

'Afghanistan has made significant progress in many areas,' he said, but observed that 'there are undoubtedly many challenges ahead' as the 'process of nation building is long and full of hurdles.'

National reconstruction needs sustained hard work and sacrifice and was a process of learning, Singh said, as President Hamid Karzai and his council of ministers listened keenly.

The Prime Minister said India was ready to partner the Afghan people as they rebuild their country in accordance with their own priorities and national circumstances.

Talking about the process of national reconciliation which is being undertaken in Afghanistan, he said: 'We wish you well in this enterprise. It is up to you, as the peoples' representatives, to make decisions about your country’s future without outside interference or coercion. This is your sovereign right.'

India will respect the choices and the decisions of the Afghan people, Singh said, as he noted that he had come here to renew the ties of friendship, solidarity and fraternity.

'This is the only agenda that I have come with. This is the only agenda that the people of India have in Afghanistan,' Singh said.

'I am happy that the people of Afghanistan are emerging from the ravages of war and rebuilding the country as a peaceful home for the confluence of cultures, for commerce and development and where the countries of the region cooperate rather than compete with each other,' he said.

'As an abiding friend, India will always stand by you in this noble task. We have always stood by our Afghan friends and I want to reaffirm that we will do so in future as well,' Singh said.

Singh said many of Afghanistan's priorities were also the priorities of India.

'We fully support the vision of a secure, prosperous and democratic future for Afghanistan outlined in the National Priority Programs initiated by the government of Afghanistan,' he said.

Speaking about fresh USD 500-million aid package announced by him on Thursday to take the total commitment to two billion dollars, he said the people of India feel privileged to see their development cooperation receive such a warm welcome in Afghanistan.

'Nothing would give us greater satisfaction than to see Indian resources being utilised for more roads, more electricity, more schools, more hospitals or more community projects -- activities that directly benefit the common Afghan people,' Singh said.

He said India will increase development outlays towards capacity building and skill development which will include more scholarships for Afghan students for studying in India, institution building efforts, social development and higher investment in the health sector by way of a medical package.

'We will provide buses for Kabul and other municipalities,' he said.

India also proposes to upgrade the agricultural department at the Kabul University to an agricultural university, donate tractors to farmers and give scholarships for the study of agricultural sciences.

India will also significantly enhance its commitment for the small development projects scheme across provinces to further facilitate development at the grassroots with the involvement of local communities.



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