As the US administration under Barack Obama on Wednesday announced that making Pakistan accountable for ensuring security in South Asian region would be one of its top foreign policy agendas,India and Afghanistan also decided to join forces to deal with their common problem of fighting terrorism originating from Pakistani soil.
Hoping to evolve a coordinated strategy to fight terrorism originating from their common neighbour,India and Afghanistan said they would work towards increasing the exchange of information on security related issues.
Pakistan-based terrorism figured prominently during discussions that Indias External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dafdar Spanta. Mukherjee landed in Kabul on Wednesday on a two-day visit.
Speaking to reporters,Spanta said both India and Afghanistan were victims of terrorism coming from the same source. Echoing the line taken by India in the wake of the Mumbai attacks,but avoiding the name of Pakistan,Spanta said there were entities in the region which used terrorism as a tool of foreign policy.
Mukherjees visit to Afghanistan marks the second high-level contact between the two countries in the last couple of weeks. Earlier this month,Karzai was in India for a three-day visit,discussions during which were also focused on terrorism. India had also shared with Karzai the evidence it had of complicity of Pakistan-based persons in the Mumbai attacks.
Before leaving for Kabul,Mukherjee kept up the diplomatic pressure on Pakistan and made yet another appeal to the international community to discipline states supporting terrorism.
If a state apparatus sponsors terrorism as an act of state policy,or a recalcitrant state refuses to recognise its international commitments and responsibilities on not allowing the use of its territory for terror activities,the problem becomes complex and difficult, Mukherjee said at an official function here.
It is high time for the international community to recognise that such recalcitrant states must be brought to discipline by resorting to various international mechanisms, he said.
Meanwhile,the new administration in US said containing Al Qaeda and Taliban would figure prominently in its foreign policy priorities and vowed to increase its troop strength in Afghanistan.