Dushanbe, Jun 15 : Terrorism is the gravest threat being confronted in Asia and the perpetrators of terrorism and their victims must never be equated, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said here on Saturday.
"Terrorism is the gravest threat that we face in Asia today. Many CICA members are victims of terrorism and should be clear that terrorists and their victims must never be equated," Dr Jaishankar said in his address at the Fifth Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit.
The CICA has always shown a strong commitment to combat terrorism and extremism and adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism, he said adding - early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, proposed by India, is today even more essential and "we seek your (CICA) support in this regard".
In Afghanistan, Dr Jaishankar said India has supported a national peace and reconciliation process, which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned.
"We believe all initiatives and processes must include all sections of Afghan society, including the legitimately elected Government. The recent India-Central Asia 5 Ministerial dialogue is a very positive development that can only enhance further cooperation and stability across our regions," he said.
He further said regional connectivity initiatives that are inclusive, sustainable, transparent and respect the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity can boost trade and play a pivotal role in bringing prosperity and development to the region.
"India for its part will always support these such regional connectivity initiatives," the Minister said.
Dr Jaishankar said the 21st century is being hailed as the Asian century and CICA can surely play a useful role in promoting peace, security and development in Asia.
"This is important today because the world has been witnessing far-reaching geo-strategic changes, which have also impacted on the peace and security in Asia. Globalisation is under stress due to new and emerging geo-political and geo-economic fault lines," he said.
He reiterated that India supports a rule-based order in Asia, as in the rest of the world.
"But we confront unavoidable challenges such as terrorism, conflicts, trans-national crimes and maritime threats. There are also issues of sustainable development including the lack of energy security, low intra-regional trade and deficit of connectivity. These must be urgently remedied for our common good," the Minister pointed out.
India is a member of CICA since its inception and late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had participated in the first CICA Summit held in 2002 in Almaty.
The theme of the fifth summit being held here in the capital of Tajikistan is "shared vision for a secure and more prosperous CICA region”. (UNI)