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Modi should raise terror issue during Wuhan meet: Karzai

Welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to travel to China for a summit with President Xi Jinping, Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai called for India to discuss terror issues with China, as well as Russia, if the U.S. is unable to stem terror attacks from Pakistan.

“Once [India-China] ties are strengthened, then we hope India can speak more freely with China on putting pressure on Pakistan to stop using extremism as a tool. China has its own difficulties with extremism,” he said, reacting to the announcement in Beijing that Mr. Modi would meet Mr. Xi in Wuhan this Friday for an “informal summit”.

Referring to the “rising extremism and violence” in Afghanistan, including Sunday’s bombing at a voter registration centre in Kabul, Mr. Karzai told The Hindu that it showed that the U.S.’s recently launched “South Asia policy” for Afghanistan had not shown results.

SCO meet in June

“If the U.S. doesn’t come on board with the specifics needed to fight against extremism from Pakistan that bring results… India should approach China, and also Russia, who face similar threats as India does,” he said, suggesting that the subsequent meeting of Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in China in June would further the effort.

“Yes SCO can be the alternative [to U.S.], provided the three major countries: India, Russia and China are able to see eye to eye, and see that their interests in Afghanistan as also in the region are eventually the same, and that is the defeat of extremism,” he said.

During the Wuhan summit, which is expected to set the course for India-China ties, the issue of China’s blocking the UN’s designation of terrorist leaders in Pakistan like Masood Azhar is expected to be discussed, as well as India’s objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. (The Hindu)

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