New Delhi: The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, who began a three-nation tour to the Baltic region today, briefed the Lithuanian President, Gitanas Nauseda on the recent decision of the Indian Government to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution that conferred Special Status upon Jammu and Kashmir. He said that was taken to ensure all-round development and extend benefits to the people of the newly-created Union Territories.
During a tête-à-têtewith Mr. Nauseda in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania on the first leg of his tour, the Vice President asserted that the re-organization of Jammu &Kashmir was aimed at reducing regional disparity and improving administrative efficiency.
He also informed the Lithuanian President that more than 100 progressive legislations have now become applicable to the two Union Territories. They include reservation of seats for women in Panchayats (Local Self Governments), implementing child protection programs, ensuring right to education for children and protecting women from domestic violence.
He informed the Lithuanian President that Article 370 had enabled vested interests to create a climate of separatism and establish linkages with terrorist groups. This atmosphere encouraged the practice of cross-border terrorism. He also told him that although large resources were given to the state by the Union Government, there was no commensurate development.
Shri Naidu explained that the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir was completely within the purview of the Government of India. “We expect understanding from our international partners that this decision concerns our national progress and prosperity. It has equity and inclusion as the main objective”.
Observing that terrorism was one of the major challenges confronting the world today, he urged all the nations to intensify their collective efforts and strive to eliminate the menace of terrorism and also isolate nations which aid and abet terrorism.
The Vice President thanked the Government of Lithuania for extending its support and solidarity in condemning the Pulwama terrorist attack.
Both the dignitaries had extensive discussions on important aspects of bilateral relationship as well as global and regional issues of common interest. They renewed their commitment to further build on the long-standing friendly ties between the two countries.
They also agreed on the need for the UN to demonstrate a collective political will for early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which was proposed by India many years ago.
They discussed the need for an early and comprehensive reform of the United Nation’s Security Council to make it more representative to reflect the realities of today and address current global challenges. They agreed to strengthen the existing cooperation between the two countries at the United Nations and other multilateral fora.
Both the dignitaries also discussed the huge scope for expansion of commercial and economic ties. Shri Naidu said that India was now among the fastest growing major economies in the world and wanted Lithuanian businesses to take advantage of the opportunities available in India. He praised Lithuania’s many achievements since achieving independence almost 30 years back.
Expressing his happiness over the warm welcome and hospitality accorded to him and the Indian delegation by the people of Lithuania, Shri Naidu said that both the countries have civilizational links that go back centuries. “Lithuanian is the oldest Indo-European language and it has strong links with Sanskrit”, he added.
The Vice President was presented a copy of the ‘History of Lithuania’ in Hindi. He expressed his appreciation for the publication- Comparative Dictionary of 108 Common Lithuanian and Sanskrit words. He said ‘We may now endeavour to compile and publish the comprehensive dictionary of 10,000 common words in our languages’.
The Lithuanian President and the Vice President witnessed the signing of two agreements on Agriculture and Allied sectors and Cultural Exchange Program from 2019-21.