Amritsar Declaration names Lashkar, Jaish as threat to peace

Amritsar, Dec 4 (IANS) An international conference on Afghanistan here on Sunday named Pakistan-based terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, as grave threats to peace in the South Asian region.

The resolution called Amritsar Declaration, adopted at the 6th ministerial ‘Heart of Asia conference – Istanbul Process on Afghanistan’ in this Punjab city near India’s border with Pakistan, said it was “concerned by the gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan in particular and the region”.

Among other terror groups propagating “high level of violence”, the declaration said, were “the Taliban, Daesh (Islamic State) and its affiliates, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida…Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan… and other foreign terrorist fighters”.

“Acknowledging the support that terrorism derives in our region”, the joint declaration demanded “an immediate end to all forms of terrorism, as well as all support to it, including financing of terrorism”.

Citing the declaration, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who chaired the meeting in the absence of ailing External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, said the document “strongly” called for “concerted regional and international cooperation to ensure elimination of terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, including dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens in the Heart of Asia region, as well as disrupting all financial, tactical and logistical support for terrorism”.

The mention of the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation is an Indian diplomatic victory over its western neighbour — accused of using terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy since decades.

Indian efforts to include names of the terrorist groups, the Lashkar and Jaish, in the Goa Declaration of the October Brics summit had failed after China allegedly scuttled the move.

New Delhi alleges that the Lashkar and Jaish have been enjoying financial and logistical support from the Pakistan government and its agencies were being used as a tool to disrupt peace in India. Pakistan denies this.