Indian, Afghan leaders urge end to terror support

AP News
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Posted: Dec 04, 2016 7:43 AM
Indian, Afghan leaders urge end to terror support

NEW DELHI (AP) — The leaders of India and Afghanistan on Sunday urged countries in their region to stop supporting armed militants.

Representatives of nearly two dozen countries met in the northern Indian city of Amritsar as part of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process initiative to promote Afghan peace efforts.

Without naming Pakistan, both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani urged their neighbor to stop offering shelter and support to militants who commit violence in the region.

Ghani and Modi have separately accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan and rebels in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Ghani said the region urgently required a fund to combat extremism and suggested that the $500 million promised by Islamabad for Afghan reconstruction would be better used for fighting terrorism.

"This fund could very well be used for containing extremism because without peace, any amount of assistance will not meet the needs of our people," Ghani said.

Modi said terrorism posed the gravest threat to Afghanistan's search for peace, stability and prosperity. And it's not just Afghanistan, but the entire region that is being hit by violence, he said.

"The growing arc of terrorist violence endangers our entire region," Modi warned, urging Islamabad to do more to curb militant activity and sanctuaries in its territory.

New Delhi has long been trying to gather international support for the fight against terrorism stemming from its own concerns about militants who it says cross the border from Pakistan into Indian-controlled Kashmir. Pakistan denies the allegation.

The Heart of Asia initiative was launched in November 2011 to coordinate global efforts to reconstruct war-ravaged Afghanistan. The initiative is supported by the United States and around 20 other countries.