‘Heart of Asia’ Conference—Focus on Combating Terror in Region!

The Heart of Asia – this initiative was established to provide a platform to discuss regional issues, particularly encouraging Security, Political, & Economic Co-operation among Afghanistan and its neighbours. This region—led dialogue was launched in November 2011 to expand practical coordination between Afghanistan & its neighbours & regional Partners in facing common threats, including counter terrorism, counter Narcotics, poverty, & extremism. The United States and over 20 other nations and organizations serve as “supporting Nations” to this process. On April 26th 2013, Almaty, Kazakistan hosted the third Ministerial conference of the Istanbul process which gathered leaders from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhistan, Kyrgystan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey Turkmenistan, &United Arab Emirates & Uzbekistan, along with western countries and international organizations, to discuss mechanisms, to support regional co-operation. Themeeting focussed on “silk Routes Partnership for Migration” to promote further dialogue and co-operation on the issue of migration.

The Annual conference is taking place amid heightened tension between India & Pakistan in the wake of the terror attack on our Army base Nagrota. As Afghanistan faces the resurgence of Taliban, a conference of major regional and global powers began on Saturday in this holy city of Amritsar to explore ways to effectively deal with threat of terrorism in the region, its complex security matrix and help the war—ravaged nation in its transition. Nearly 40 countries and leading groupings like the European Union, the annual conference of the Heart of Asia—Istanbul process is deliberating on various challenges facing Afghanistan, including revival of a peace process in the conflict—ridden country. On 3rd of November 2016, senior officials of all 14 countries including China,Russia,Iran & Pakistan, and representatives of 17 supporting nations were deliberating on a vast range of issues facing the region including its complex security scenario and dealing with threat of terrorism, radicalisation and extremism.Afghanistan’s Issues for enhancing connectivity with south and Central Asian countries to boost trade were being discussed at the senior official’s meeting which was co—chaired by India’s foreign Minister &Afghanistan’s  Hikamat Khaleel Karzai. There will also be a declaration for Pakistan as terror sponsoring state. Afghanistan President snubbed Pakistan for its terror export. He stated very clearly Pakistan’s $500 for reconstruction will be better used to fight terror. He quoted a Taliban figure who said but for Pakistan’s sanctuary Taliban wouldn’t last a month. Cross terrorism is a major concern and “we need aid to fight terrorism”, said Ghani at the Heart of Asia Conference in Amritsar, we need to identify cross-border terrorism and a fund to combat terrorism. Pakistan has pledged 500 Million dollars for Afghanistan’s development. This amount, Mr. Aziz can be spent to contain extremism”; Ghanisaid, directly addressing Pakistan’s foreign policy chief Sartaz Aziz, who is also attending the conference. He also further stated “Afghanistan suffered the highest number of causalities last year. This is unacceptable… some still provide sanctuary for terrorists. As a Taliban figure told recently if they had no sanctuary in Pakistan, theywouldn’t last a month”, said Ghani.“I don’t want a blame game, I want clarifications”, on what is being done to prevent the export of terror, Ghani further clarified. Terror was also the theme of host Prime Minister Narendra Mod’s address at the conference.

“We must demonstrate strong collective will to defeat terror network that cause bloodshed and spread fear. Silence and inaction on terror in Afghanistan and the region will embolden terrorists and masters and those fund them”, PM Modi said.

President of Afghanistan Mr. Ghani Isolated Pakistan repeatedly on the International platform like this in front of all the International communities. India, Afghanistan, Baluchi’s should conduct a joint military strike on Pakistan and destroy or bust the terror network which is deep rooted in Pakistan. PM Modi also emphasised the numerous projects under the partnership, from the friendship Dam to Parliament to building capacity in health and more, and he also further said that as India implements its additional commitments, we are open to work with other like-minded partners for the development of Afghanistan. He further took the message of peace by asking every nation to support India’s peace initiatives and declare Pakistan as terror state. He also further emphasized that not only opposing terror network but alsoforces which are supporting it, financing & sheltering it.

PM Modi said in his own words” Our words and Actions remain focussed on building, strengthening and securing Afghan’s territory and its citizens from external threats”. He nailed things in clear perspective regarding Pakistan as terror sponsored state. And he echoed his earlier peace initiatives by stating we must protect and build on the gains of the last fifteen years and march ahead, he put his foot firmly reiterating focussing on scrapping terror Network from India & other affected Nations too. He clearly brought out the fact the Agenda of meeting in Amritsar is reaffirming the commitment of the international community for a peace and lasting stability in Afghanistan.PM Modi also further spoke highly of Amritsar highlighting the fact that it nurtures an old and steadfast connection of warmth and affection with Afghanistan, also lauded the presence and stand of Afghanistan in the international scenario. Welcoming the delegates at the conference, there was a Trilateral agreement signed between India, Iran, and Afghanistan a major major step towards transforming Afghanistan from land – lock country to land—bridge. There are reports that top Taliban leader admitted to Pakistan’s terror role. Terrorism must be fought collectively. Said Ashraf Ghani.Mr. Ghani also further stated that about 30 terrorist groups as named by the UN, are trying to establish a base in Afghanistan. He also highlighted the fact that Afghanistan suffered causalities in 2015, which is highly unacceptable to him and to his Nation & to the International community who are facing this serious concern.

During the Heart of Asia meeting President of Afghanistan also further highlighted the fact—Heart of Asia is meeting at time of great opportunity in significant threats for Afghanistan, Asia-wide & global implications. He also further thanked PM Modi for Indian assistance in building Salma Dam. “India’s help is transparent with no strings attached”, he said.Thus, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani clearly snubbed & nailed the fact that Pakistan is terror sponsoring state, and should be declared as terror sponsored state. Afghan Foreign Minister, Salahauddin Rabbani said that there is much to be done to tackle challenges like terrorism and radicalism. Finance Minister who belongs to Amritsar constituency was also present & he welcomed delegates at this summit.PM Modi before inaugurating Heart of Asia conference, paid a visit to Golden Temple at Amritsar and performed langar service, & bowed five times before the holy book. Amritsar was wrapped under thick security carpet.

Pakistani Paper Dawn reported that Pakistan PM’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs met PM Modi & greeted him with bouquet & also sent greetings & warm wishes to Sushma Swaraj for her speedy recovery, and shook hands with PM Modi which created Media Frenzy across especially, Indian Media, this handshake after belligerence and strained relationship with Pakistan after Uri attack where we lost our brave 19 soldiers of Indian Army. And at the same time, it is also reported that there were warm greetings which were exchanged between the two nations at the banquet by PM Modi, as usual niceties were also exchanged between all the nations as a mark of goodwill gesture. All said and done the niceties are exchanged only at the meeting but facts are nailed to combat terror forces & terrorism, withzero intolerance towards terrorism and terror sponsored state called Pakistan once again got snubbed on the International platform.

Uri, Pathankot, Nagrota— has Exposed Pakistan internationally, its high time UN declares openly that Pakistan is terror sponsoring state. But the most important fact that I would like to highlight that in India we have traitors called JAICHAND’s they ought to be dealt with severe punishment and end Proxy war in Kashmir nailing a very important fact that” Kashmir is and will be integral part of Kashmir & Kashmiris are Indians”. The lives of Martyred jawaans &civilians should be answered befittingly to these jihadis (LeT, JuD.), who hailed Burhan Wani who raised his finger at Our Indian Army who got a straight reply from them that at no cost terrorism will be tolerated & terrorist will be spared. PM Modi though he is criticized for his foreign Policy by the United opposition for their negligence in these years has started the clean-up drive in all aspects to Keep India Safer, cleaner, Greener & Happier from Kashmir to Kanyakumari through Balanced Regional Development & unifying concepts of his nitis which can be traced from Kautilya’s Nitisastras.

Jai Hind

Dr.S. Sukanya Iyer