Priority should be given to countering terror financing: NSA Doval

New Delhi:

NSA Ajit Doval on Tuesday strongly pitched for giving greater priority by countries of the region to counter terror financing, saying monetary resources are the “lifeblood” of terrorism.

In an address at the inaugural India-Central Asia meeting of national security advisors, Doval also said that all UN member states should refrain from providing any form of support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts and fulfil the obligations enshrined in relevant counter-terror conventions.

He described Central Asia as India’s “extended neighbourhood”, and said New Delhi accords “highest priority” to this region.

The NSAs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are attending the conclave while Turkmenistan is being represented by its ambassador to India.

“Afghanistan is an important issue concerning all of us. India’s concerns and objectives with regard to immediate priorities and the way forward are similar to those of many of us around the table,” he said.

Doval said connectivity with Central Asian countries remained a key priority for India and that New Delhi stands ready to cooperate, invest and build connectivity in the region.

“While expanding connectivity, it is important to ensure that connectivity initiatives are consultative, transparent and participatory, with respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries,” he said, seen as an oblique reference to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).