ProMASS: DEC 05,2016: The 6th Heart of Asia Ministerial Conference ended after adopting the Amritsar Declaration, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the declaration recognises terrorism as the biggest threat to peace and demands an immediate end to all forms of terrorism. Mr Jaitley said, the nations are concerned by high level of violence in Afghanistan caused by Taliban and other terror groups including Islamic State and its affiliates LeT, JeM and others. He said, the nations recognized the necessity of taking serious measures to address recruitment of youth to extremist and terrorist networks.
For the first time, Heart of Asia declaration expressed concern at the violence caused in Afghanistan and in the region by terrorist groups like al-Qaida, Daesh, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaiesh E Mohammed and others.
The declaration said the countries encourage early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism with consensus. The declaration recognised the necessity of taking serious measures to address the recruitment of youth to extremist and terrorist networks. It said, radicalisation of disaffected elements of the population, especially youth, can only be prevented by effective de-radicalisation and counter-radicalisation strategies involving all the Heart of Asia countries.
Replying to a query on spending the one-billion dollar assistance by India to Afghanistan, Mr Jaitley said, one of the key areas is going to be infrastructure and skill development. Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Hekmat Karzai said, water management, the building of dams are some of the other areas that Afghanistan is looking at. Mr Karzai termed the conference as extremely productive.