India, Malaysia vow to strengthen strategic, trade ties

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India, Malaysia vow to strengthen strategic, trade ties

New Delhi, Apr 1 (PTI) Asserting that there is no justification for acts of terror on any grounds, India and Malaysia today agreed to strengthen their strategic partnership to counter-terrorism and extremism during the talks between their prime ministers.

The wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak also encompassed trade ties.

Affirming their strong commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the two leaders stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever and condemned in the “strongest terms” the recent barbaric terror attacks in the region, a joint statement after the talks said.

In an apparent reference to Pakistan, it said, “The fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and eliminate terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against States, which encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues.”

Though the document did not name Pakistan, it said there should be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs.

This assumes significance given that Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had hailed Burhan Wani, a Hizbul commander who was killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir last year, as a “martyr”.

Later, addressing a joint press event with Najib, Modi said,”To secure our societies, and for the greater regional good, we have agreed to further strengthen our strategic partnership to shape an effective response to our common concerns and challenges.”

Modi also said the two sides were conscious of their role and responsibility in promoting economic prosperity, freedom of navigation, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, especially its oceans.

On his part, Najib said Modi was specifically interested in knowing about the success of Malaysia’s de-radicalisation programme and he presented the Indian leader a book on the specific module dealing with it apart from offering to extend his country’s expertise in the area.

“We are willing to work closely together with the Indian government for special conference that will be held in near future and we will provide our experience and with our partners to make sure Malaysia and other parts of the world will never be a place in which militancy and extremism will take root,” Najib said.

The visiting dignitary also asserted that defence and strategic partnership will be “very important to us to fight global terrorism, militancy, extremism and that includes our fight against IS and against any form of extremism”.

“For this, we will enhance our cooperation,” he said.

After the talks between Modi and Najib, the two sides inked seven pacts, including those related to air services and cooperation in development of a fertiliser plant in Malaysia with off-take of surplus urea by India.

While seeking to deepen the engagement between the two countries, Najib maintained the bilateral ties have not yet realised their full potential and hoped these pacts will boost the engagement in various sectors.

On economic ties, Modi said the two countries have built a thriving economic partnership.

“In our efforts to scale this up, as the fastest growing large economy in the world, India offers unparalleled opportunities. And, to build new avenues of prosperity in our societies, we are ready to expand trade and capital flows between our two economies,” he said, identifying infrastructure as one of the key sectors for investment.

The two sides emphasised on the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation, and expressed their determination to take concrete measures to step up cooperation and coordination among the law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations.

According to External Affairs Ministry, during Najib’s six-day visit, projects worth USD five billion are expected to be discussed apart from inking of more than a dozen business deals. Najib is scheduled to attend Trade Expo by Malaysia India Business Council Business Forum and 7Th Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council Meeting on April 3.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.