budget session

Firm steps to deal with cross-border terror: President

PTI2_23_2016_000032B President Pranab Mukherjee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan,Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu walks towards the Central Hall at Parliament House for his address on the first day of Budget Session, in New Delhi on Tuesday | PTI Photo

Firm steps would be taken to deal with cross-border terrorism, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday, soon after such attacks including the one on the Pathankot airbase.

"Let me congratulate the security forces in successfully foiling the recent attack at the Pathankot airbase by terrorists. Firm and effective steps will be taken to deal with any situation arising out of cross-border terrorism," the President told a joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.

Expressing the government's commitment to firmly deal with "all challenges concerning the security of the country," he said terrorism was a global threat and "strong counter- terrorism measures are necessary worldwide to eradicate it completely."

Noting that there was "significant improvement" in the overall security situation in the Northeast and Left Wing Exptremism affected states, Mukherjee said this has been made possible "through sustained efforts and measures taken by the intelligence agencies and security forcs in collaboration with the state governments."

Besides the Pathankot airbase attack which went on for four days from January 2, security forces battled for over 48 hours with terrorists holed up inside a government building at Pampore on the outskirts of Srinagar till yesterday.

On ties with neighbouring countries, the President said that last year, the government adopted the historic Land Boundary Agreement with Bangaladesh, leading to the peaceful exchange of disputed territories between the two countries.

The signing of the Motor Vehicles Agreement between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal will provide seamless connectivity and further strengthen ties, Mukherjee said.

"We have been a friend in need to Nepal during the devastating earthquake of April 2015. We opened our skies, became a key transit hub and essential enabler so that assistance from other countries could reach Nepal in the hour of need," he recalled.

On Afghanistan, he said India remained committed in providing support to the people of Afghanistan in realising their dream of building a stable, inclusive and democratic nation.

"Dedication of the Afghanistan Parliament to its people by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi was our contribution to Afghanistan's pursuit of peace and prosperity," the President said.

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