Pakistan’s intransigence over harbouring terror outfits and funding extremists in Jammu and Kashmir is a serious challenge to peace in South Asia and there is a need to isolate the country at all international fora, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said. “State-sponsored terrorism with its epicentre in our neighbourhood is assuming alarming proportions and time has now come to take a collective punitive action against the perpetrators harbouring terror outfits,” the minister for road transport, highways and shipping said in his address to the Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP) here yesterday.
Gadkari, who concluded his three-day visit to the UK today, described terrorism as a scourge against humanity which was disturbing peace and hampering economic growth in the entire region. He warned that Pakistan’s intransigence on disturbing peace and tranquillity in the region, harbouring terror outfits and funding extremists in Jammu and Kashmir is a serious challenge and there is a need to isolate Islamabad at all international fora.
The minister said the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi believed in peaceful co-existence and all-round regional development and progress among the SAARC countries. “Modi is striving hard to promote regional cooperation and improve bilateral relations with all its neighbours,” Gadkari said. He was in the UK to launch the National Highways Authority of India’s rupee-denominated Masala Bond at the London Stock Exchange to raise funds for infrastructure development in India.
The bond has subscriptions to the tune of over Rs 3,000 crore already in the bag, with more expected. Masala bonds are bonds issued outside India but denominated in Indian rupees, rather than the local currency. Gadkari also finalised plans for an MoU with Transport for London (TfL), aimed at improving urban transport in India through exchange of technology and data analysis in integrated transport system.