India, Tajikistan to cooperate on connectivity, counter terror

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Oct 2018 15:35:15


DUSHANBE (Tajikistan),

INDIA and Tajikistan agreed to work together to boost connectivity and join hands in the fight against terror as they signed eight pacts in various sectors after a meeting between Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon here on Monday.

“Connectivity is vital for realising the full potential of our Strategic Partnership and economic relations,” Kovind told the media. “Together, India and Tajikistan can promote the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and other connectivity initiatives such as the development of Chabahar port and the Ashgabat Agreement for smooth transport of goods,” he said. The INSTC is a 7,200-km-long multi-modal network of ship, rail and road routes to move freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe. India, Iran and Afghanistan are jointly developing the Chabahar port in South-Eastern Iran which will be a key link in the INSTC.

Earlier this year, India joined the Ashgabat Agreement which seeks to establish an international transport and transit corridor between Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
According to a joint statement issued following Monday’s meeting. Kovind and Rahmon emphasised the importance of regional efforts to expand transit and transport corridors that promote connectivity between Central Asia and India. “Both leaders reiterated strong support to development of the International North-South Transport Corridor which will considerably reduce time and cost of transport of merchandise among India, Central Asia, Caucasus and CIS countries,” it stated.

Pointing out that the region was beset with challenges posed by fundamentalists and terrorists, Kovind said that both India and Tajikistan remain determined to counter all
forms of terrorism and violent extremism.