Countering terror financing should be priority: NSA Doval at India-Central Asia meet

6 December, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma

NSA Ajit Doval World

In light of the continuation of terrorist networks in Central Asia, especially Afghanistan, NSA Ajit Doval emphasised the need of combatting terror financing for India and other nations in the area...

In light of the continuation of terrorist networks in Central Asia, especially Afghanistan, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval emphasised the need of combatting terror financing for India and other nations in the area on Tuesday.

Addressing the inaugural meeting of “National Security Advisers/Secretaries of Security Councils” with his counterparts from from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Doval said, “Afghanistan is an important issue concerning us all.” “India’s concerns and objectives …and immediate priority and the way forward, are similar to many of those around the table,” Doval said.

Turkmenistan was represented by its ambassador to India.

Underlining that a peaceful, secure and prosperous Central Asia is in the common interest, Doval Tuesday raised concerns about the presence of terrorist networks in Afghanistan.

“Persistence of terrorist networks in the region, including in Afghanistan is also a matter of deep concern. Financing is the lifeblood of terrorism and countering terrorism should be an equal priority for all of us,” he added.

He also urged Central Asian nations to urge all UN members to fulfil their commitments under applicable counter-terrorism agreements and avoid from providing support to organisations implicated in terrorist activities.

Giving the area top attention, NSA Doval stated that Central Asia is India’s extended neighbour with civilizational ties to the nation.

The first one-day NSA meeting took place today, following the first summit held in January 2022 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

According to NSA Doval, the discussion today is based on the India-Central Asia Summit conducted in January of this year. This meeting, according to Doval, comes at a time of great turbulence in international relations and uncertainty about the future.

“Today’s meeting assumes importance, as it provides us an opportunity to discuss matters which require greater cooperation and coordination amongst the regional countries,” he added.

Doval also noted that connectivity with Central Asian countries remains a key priority for India.

“We stand ready to cooperate, invest and build connectivity in the region. While expanding connectivity it is important to ensure that the initiatives are consultative, transparent and participatory,” he added.

This first India-Central Asia coincided with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Central Asian countries.

During the Summit, Prime Minister Modi and the Central Asian Leaders discussed the next steps in taking India-Central Asia relations to new heights. During the summit, the leaders had agreed to institutionalize the Summit mechanism by deciding to hold it every two years.

They also agreed to hold regular meetings of Foreign Ministers, Trade Ministers, Culture Ministers, and Security Council Secretaries to lay the groundwork for Summit meetings. To support the new mechanism, an India-Central Asia Secretariat would be established in New Delhi.