PM Modi holds talks with Uzbek President Karimov, discusses Afghanistan

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held talks with Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov on several bilateral and regional issues.

According to a PTI report, the situation in Afghanistan dominated the talks between PM Modi and President Karimov with the two countries signing three pacts to boost cooperation between their foreign offices and culture and tourism between India and Uzbekistan.

Modi is visiting Uzbekistan as part of his eight-day trip to Central Asia and Russia.

 

Addressing a joint press event, Modi said, “I have begun my journey in Uzbekistan underlining its importance for India, not just in this region, but also in Asia. President Karimov and I discussed various initiatives to further enhance connectivity between India and Uzbekistan.”

Modi added that the two countries had also discussed Afghanistan and the need to establish peace and stability there.

 

“I briefed President about the International North South Transport Corridor and proposed that Uzbekistan consider becoming a member,” Modi was quoted as saying.

 

The Indian prime minister also tweeted that he had gifted a ‘specially commissioned reproduction of Khamsa-i-Khusrau by Amir Khusru’ to President Karimov.

He described his talks with Karimov as very productive which would strengthen the ties between the two countries.

Uzbekistan has been grappling with the threat of Taliban for several years with many of  its Uzbek fighters reportedly travelling to Afghanistan to fight for the radical groups. Officially a secular country, Uzbekistan also had to deal with the rising threats of indigenous radical group particularly the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

More recently, IMU fighters had even helped Pakistani Taliban. According to reports, one of the IMU’s founders and its main ideologue, Tahir Yuldashev, was killed by an alleged U.S. drone strike in August 2009. His successor, Osman Adil, was killed in a similar attack. Both were close allies of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and were killed in the Waziristan region

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