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Indo-US partnership important in fight against terrorism: Advani

Suman Guha Mozumder in Santa Monica | June 12, 2003 20:46 IST

Pointing out that the epicenter of terrorism lies in India's immediate neighbourhood, Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani on Wednesday said a partnership between India and US was essential to successfully combat the menace.

Delivering a lecture on 'Indo-US Relations in a Strategic Perspective', organised by the World Affairs Council at a hotel in Santa Monica, Advani said, "It gives me no joy in pointing fingers, but the involvement of Pakistan can no longer be ignored."

Close to 150 people, many of them scholars and academics, turned up to listen to Advani's luncheon address.

"Jihadi terrorism is a threat not only to the security of our countries, but to peace and tranquility around the world," he told the audience.

Elaborating on the strategic partnership he proposed between India and the US to counter this threat, Advani said there was a strong basis for a partnership as India and the US are natural allies and have many commonalities, including facing the threat of jihadi terrorism.

He said the Indo-US partnership is clearly here to stay and will grow stronger over the years. This means spelling out long-term goals as against immediate or short-term objectives and a clear roadmap and a carefully devised system of implementation, he explained.

"Of course, we will continue to agree to disagree on certain issues. But as befits two mature and forward looking democracies, we will move forward on the basis of our shared values and views on a larger set of issues mindful of the fact that cooperation between the world's two largest democracies is essential for peace, stability and prosperity of the world," Advani said.

Apart from WAC president Curtis J Mack, others present at the events included Union Home Secretary N Gopalaswamy and Ambassador Lalit Mansingh.

Meanwhile, Pakistan said Advani's remark was factually 'incorrect', 'uncalled for' and 'contrary'to the offer of dialogue and friendship extended by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

A Pakistani foreign ministry official said Pakistan was in the 'forefront' in the fight against terrorism. "No country has done more than Pakistan in combating terrorism," the official claimed, added, "Rather than such unhelpful remarks coming from an Indian leader, the two countries should focus on the dialogue and the peace process." 

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