SAARC Home Ministers meet on Oct 23 to 25 to focus on terrorism

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (UNI) Curbing the menace of terrorism, organised crimes, narcotics smuggling and human trafficking would be the focus of the three-day long SAARC Home Ministers Conference beginning here tomorrow.

The Second Meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers, to be chaired by Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil on October 25, would be preceded by the Second Meeting of SAARC Home Secretaries on October 24 and and Sixth SAARC Conference on Cooperation in Police Matters on October 23. The meetings would be attened by Home/Interior Ministers of all the eight SAARC nations, including Afghanistan.

It would discuss evolving joint mechanism to address all multilateral issues, including terrorism, rising militancy in various countries of the region. Narcotics trade and trafficking and migration of people along the porous borders of the country of the region would also be deliberated.

These meetings will continue the exchange of apex level ideas/perspectives on issues of criticality and work towards enhancement of cooperation in security management and related issues.

At the 14th SAARC Summit held here the Heads of Government had earlier emphasised the importance of increased cooperation in security related areas, especially the need to combat terrorism, narcotics and psychotropic substances, trafficking in women and children and other trans-national crimes.

They had also expressed their commitment to take every possible measure to prevent and suppress, in particular, financing of terrorist acts and counter trafficking of narcotic drugs and illicit arms.

Capacity building, institutional arrangements and multi-lateral agreements will be at the core of these deliberations at all three levels. The forthcoming meetings are, thus, expected to deliberate on among others, a network of cooperation amongst police chiefs, SAARC visa exemption scheme, a Draft Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, greater strength to existing mechanisms of cooperation in drugs, terrorism and trafficking.

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