Jaiswal calls for greater cooperation among SAARC countries

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Hyderabad, Oct 8 (UNI) Reaffirming India's commitment to good relations with all its neighbours, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal today called for creation of a mechanism for sharing experiences, expertise and resources related to police training among the member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Inaugurating the first conference of heads of police training institutions of SAARC countries at the prestigious Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, he said, ''we must make effective use of the SAARC three-tier mechanism to share experiences, information and data; learn from one another's success stories and mistakes.'' Asserting that a country's development was linked to maintenance of rule of law, he asked the police to be fully prepared to face the challenges, including terrorism, organised crime and newer crimes such as economic offences and cyber crime.

With law and order in the region taking newer hues, the pace of police functioning should match the pace of the changing scenario, he said.

Mr Jaiswal called for a vision rooted in common values and based on individual and collective strengths that would enable South Asia to realise its full potential in the 21st century.

''Over the years, all of us have gained experience in fighting with our individual demons.

Perhaps, a mechanism can be establised to share experiences, expertise and resources among our training organisations so that the resultant synergy helps each member country of SAARC individually and collectively.'' Economic growth by itself would not mean much if vast sections of people lived without basic essentials, the Minister pointed out, adding that this would also demand ''zero tolerance to any violation of human rights in the region''.

Stressing the need for greater cooperation in various fields among SAARC countries, Mr Jaiswal said, ''India is fully committed to the effort to build on our commonalities and shared aspirations for equitable development. We need to use and share technologies. We should try to ensure that our population remains completely up-to-date, not only about major political events, but also economic, cultural and sociological trends in all our countries.'' UNI SM VA JJ NC BD1625

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