New Delhi, Oct. 24: To curb the menace of terrorism, police chiefs of SAARC countries have called for the formation of an institutional mechanism to enhance cooperation amongst the SAARC nations.
Besides terrorism, other issues like drug trafficking, cyber crimes and financial frauds were also introduced at the Sixth SAARC Conference on Cooperation in Police Matters on Tuesday.
According to sources in the Union Home Ministry, police chiefs also agreed to share information related to trans-border crimes among police organisations.
“The delegates spoke of the need for a network of cooperation amongst them to strengthen the existing mechanisms of cooperation in drugs, terrorism and trafficking," said a source after the meeting.
The three-day SAARC Home Ministers" meet assumes significance in the light of a series of terror attacks in India, including in Ludhiana, Ajmer and Hyderabad.
The second meeting of SAARC Home Secretaries is being held here today, a day ahead of the second Meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers.
These meetings will continue the exchange of apex level ideas on issues of criticality and work towards enhancement of cooperation in security management and related issues.
Capacity building, institutional arrangements and multi-lateral agreements will be at the core of these deliberations at all the three levels.
The 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.
The proposal of the setting up of a SAARCPol is also expected to take shape this time. The idea was put forward by the Home Secretaries during the first meeting of Home Ministers, which was held in Dhaka, last year.
Besides, the Indian side is also expected to press for early approval of SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its additional Protocol and SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances by member-countries.
All member States are participating in the meeting. The newest member State of SAARC, Afghanistan, is also participating in the meeting for the first time.
At the 14th SAARC Summit held in New Delhi, the Heads of Government 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.