President calls for united, “all out” fight against terrorism

Ahead of a state visit to China from May 24 to 27, President Pranab Mukherjee has called for an “all out” fight against terrorism, in which both India and China come together.

“India and China, both huge countries —multicultural, multiracial — if they come together in fighting this menace, I am sure it will have its own impact. And India always believes that every country should have a zero tolerance policy towards terrorism and the fight is to be all out,” Mr. Mukherjee told Chinese CCTV channel.

President Mukherjee’s words are significant as they come weeks after China’s decision to > block India’s moves to ban Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar at the U.N. Taliban sanctions committee. The move led to a strain in ties as India expressed its unhappiness over what was seen as an effort to shield Pakistan and Beijing refused to change its stand.

Mr. Mukherjee’s visit marks the first Indian presidential visit to China since 2010 and is being seen as an effort to smooth over some of the issues that have come up in bilateral ties in his talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

Among them, recent comments by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs refusing to support India’s admission to the Nuclear Suppliers Group(NSG) unless it signs the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In New Delhi on Tuesday, visiting Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin struck a more conciliatory note, saying that China would work “with Indian colleagues together to find a solution” to the NSG issue.

To meet businessmen

Officials said Mr. Mukherjee’s programme, where he will visit Beijing and the south China industrial hub of Guangzhou, will include a meeting with businessmen at the India-China business forum and address students at Peking University.

On Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced the visit by President Mukherjee which is the first by a Head of State since 2010 and returns the visit by President Xi Jinping to Delhi in September 2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to travel to Hangzhou for the G-20 summit in September this year, while President Xi will travel to Goa to attend the BRICS summit in October.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 9:09:39 AM |

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