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New Delhi : The President of India Ram Nath Kovind  delivered a lecture on ‘Countering Radicalisation: Challenges in Modern Societies’ at the University of Tajikistan at Dushanbe on October 8, 2018. Addressing the gathering, the President said that he had chosen to speak on the subject for two reasons. First, Tajikistan has done commendable work to tackle this global menace, and the world must recognise its efforts and success. Second, the battle against terrorism, extremism and radicalism must be fought, primarily, in the minds of people – between those who believe in peace and humanity and those who feed on death and destruction. It is a battle of opposing ideas. Talking to the youth as well as to our scholars and pathfinders therefore becomes essential, he said.

The President said that terrorism does not believe in borders. India, like Tajikistan, is taking on terrorism and extremism. We too face the problem of radicalisation but our inclusive society, where socio-economic partnerships and participatory politics provide everybody with an inherent sense of belonging, has been our most effective bulwark. Plural and democratic India is a land of equal opportunity and equal respect for all. And a growing economy lifts one and all.

Earlier on October 8, 2018, morning, the President commenced his engagements with a visit to the Palace of Nation at Dushanbe. He was received by his Tajik counterpart, President Emamoli Rahmon, and accorded a ceremonial welcome. He also paid his respects at the Ismail Somani Memorial.

During the discussions, President Kovind thanked President Rahmon for the warm reception. He said India is proud of its Strategic Partnership and age-old friendship with Tajikistan. He appreciated the lead Tajikistan has taken in fighting terrorism and said that we need to strengthen our cooperation in combating terrorism including cross-border terrorism, according to a PIB release.

Subsequently, the two Presidents led delegation-level talks. Speaking on the occasion, President Kovind stressed the importance of defence and connectivity projects to advance Indo-Tajik relations for the benefit of the people of both countries. The two Presidents also discussed the common challenge of terrorism, particularly in the context of Afghanistan. India announced a grant of US$ 20 million for developmental assistance projects identified by Tajikistan.

Immediately after the delegation-level talks, India and Tajikistan announced nine agreements including for academic and research exchanges between the Vivekananda International Foundation, India, and the Centre for Strategic Researches, Tajikistan, and on cooperation in the field of disaster management.

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