Asserting that India has been a victim of cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by groups which enjoy safe havens in Pakistan, President Pranab Mukherjee today said both India and Singapore must focus on enhancing cooperation on combating terrorism and isolating its supporters.
During a meeting with Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Republic of Singapore, Mukherjee said both Singapore and India are concerned at growing extremism and terrorism which are a common threat to the whole international community.
“India has been a victim of cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by groups which enjoy safe havens in Pakistan. The latest terrorist attack in Uri only underlined the fact that the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan remains active.
“There have been continuous attempts by armed terrorists to cross the LoC and international boundary in order to carry out attacks in India,” the President said.
Mukherjee said as strategic partners, the broadest possible range of cooperation on security and terrorism would be to the mutual benefit of India and Singapore.
“Both countries must focus on enhancing cooperation on combating terrorism and isolating its supporters,” he said.
The Prime Minister of Singapore strongly condemned the Uri terrorist attack and conveyed condolences on the demise of many soldiers.
He said Singapore also remains on constant vigil against terrorism. It wishes for peace in South Asia and would like to do lots more with India.
The two leaders also discussed trade.
Mukherjee expressed happiness that bilateral trade has expanded after the conclusion of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). It peaked to USD 25.2 billion in 2011-12. It has, however, declined to USD 15 billion in 2015-16.
The President said the two countries need to work together to give trade and investments a boost.
“Investor confidence in India is at an all time high. It is among the most attractive destinations for investment. Singapore companies have experience in India and are familiar with our investment landscape. We hope to see more Singapore companies investing in India,” Mukherjee said.
The President said he was happy to note that Singapore is collaborating with the government of Assam in developing a skill centre in the northeastern state. The northeastern part of India is a natural partner of South East Asian nations, he said.