SAARC Home Ministers to meet from Oct 23 to 25 to discuss terrorism

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New Delhi, Oct 17 (UNI) Evolving a joint mechanism to tackle the menace of rising incidences of terrorism, organised crime and narcotic smuggling would be the focus of the three-day SAARC Home Ministers Conference, beginning here from October 23.

The meeting, to be chaired by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, would be attended by Home/Interior Ministers of all the eight SAARC nations, including Afghanistan.

It would discuss dicuss all multi-lateral issues including terrorism, rising militancy in various countries and the strategies to be adopted to deal with them. Narcotics trade and trafficking and migration of people along the porous borders of the country of the region would also be taken up.

On October 23, the Chiefs of Police of all SAARC countries would meet to deliberate on the issues relating to policing and how to strengthen it. On the next day, Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta would chair the meeting of Home Secretaries of the SAARC nations.

Home Ministers of the SAARC countries would meet on October 25 to deliberate on the issues identified by the official level meetings.

This is part of the regular interactions SAARC countries -- India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka -- have and this time India is hosting the meeting.

Earlier, India had favoured the establishment of a joint mechanism by SAARC nations to share the expertise and resources of their police training organisations in combating terrorism and organised crime.

Addressing the first conference of heads of police training institutions of SAARC countries in Hyderabad earlier this month, Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal had called for evolving a shared vision for the future of the region. Such a vision must be rooted in the common values and based on individual and collective strengths that would enable South Asia to realise its full potential in the 21st century. The conference had focused on sharing experiences in tackling terrorism and strengthening cooperation on various issues related to policing.

As law and order in the region was taking new dimensions with criminals using the latest technology to collect database of their targets, the police forces of SAARC nations needed to chalk out a route map for greater cooperation to make the region peaceful.

They would try to consolidate the gains in regional cooperation and forge a blueprint for exchange of resources, both human and material, sharing of experiences, information and data and learning from one another's success stories and mistakes.

UNI

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