SAARC to set up mechanism to tackle terrorism, drugs, cyber crimes

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New Delhi, Oct 23 (UNI) The SAARC countries today decided to set up an improved institutional mechanism and a better network to deal with terrorism, drug trafficking, cyber crimes and financial frauds.

The decision was arrived at the Sixth SAARC Conference on Cooperation in Police Matters here in which Police Chiefs of eight SAARC countries participated. The meeting was chaired by Director Intelligence Bureau P C Haldar.

The SAARC countries also agreed to create a data base of all these crimes including drug trafficking which they could share for the advantage of all the countries, Home Ministry sources said here today.

They said instead of indulging in blame game, the countries of the region could cooperate and share information on the various issues of mutual concern.

The meeting would be followed by the SAARC Home Secretaries meeting to be held tomorrow. The Home/Interior Ministers level meeting will be held on October 25 which would be chaired by Indian Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

These meetings are aimed to 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 countries of the region would also be deliberated.

The meetings would 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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