BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, AT THE BANQUET HOSTED IN HONOUR OF MR. EMOMALI
SHARIFOVICH RAKHMONOV, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN
NEW DELHI, MAY 10, 2001
have great pleasure to welcome to India Your Excellency and the distinguished
members of your delegation from the Republic of Tajikistan. We have
warm memories of your visits in 1995 and 1999, and have been keenly
looking forward to welcoming you again in our country. India’s cultural
ties with your country go back to the very dawn of history. Excellency,
in you we see a valued friend who has always shown much personal commitment
and sensitivity to India and its people.
close friendship between India and Tajikistan has not been a matter
of chance. Our societies have been built on the foundation of tolerance
and secularism. Unfortunately, these principles do not have universal
acceptance in practice as yet. If we look across our respective frontiers,
we find a turbulent sea of hatred and intolerance raging around us.
We have a common stake in protecting civil society in both our countries
against this raging intolerance and fundamentalist fanaticism and I
believe, Excellency, that we have the political will and capability
to face these threats.
Both India and Tajikistan understand the need for defending and the
values of freedom, territorial integrity and the inviolability of our
frontiers. We greatly admire, Excellency, your tireless efforts to promote
peace and tranquillity in your region, and for building a pluralistic
and modern society in Tajikistan emerging out of a civil war.
country, like mine, has been a target of the forces of terrorism and
fundamentalism, provoked and sustained from across the borders. In the
recent period, nature has also been harsh on your country. But the people
of Tajikistan are talented and hard-working. Your efforts to put economic
development into motion and your achievements so far in the face of
adversities are, therefore, so much more commendable. We congratulate
you for the successful efforts you have made in bringing about national
reconciliation in your country.
present visit to my country would provide a strong impulse to our bilateral
relations. Economic activities are where we need to direct our future
energies and endeavours. The Joint Declaration that has been signed
today outlines the future course of our partnership.
current international environment remains one of immense complexity.
As technology, information, finances and people rapidly cross borders,
so do terrorism, drugs and illegal weapons. And yet, the situation is
not one of despair. Friendship and partnership between countries such
as India and Tajikistan have become increasingly more relevant, and
would exert positive influence on the evolving international order.
Tajikistan occupies an important position in Central Asia which has
been historically the strategic heart of Asia. We are hopeful that through
co-operation among the countries of Central Asia and among the great
countries like Russia, China and India we would be able to stem the
evil tide of fundamentalist terrorism that has arisen in the breeding
ground between Afghanistan and Pakistan and is threatening the whole
Ladies and gentlemen, I request you to join me in a toast:
- to the
health and personal well-being of His Excellency President Rakhmonov
prosperity and happiness of the people of Tajikistan
- to the
ever-lasting friendship between our two countries and peoples.