Regional BIMSTEC grouping adopts a convention to combat terrorism

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Nay Pyi Taw (Myanmar)/On board, Dec 12 (ANI): The seven-nation Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping adopted a convention to combat terrorism and insurgency at its ministerial meeting in Myanmar on Friday.

Foreign Ministers of BIMSTEC countries signed the Convention on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism, Trans-National Organised Crime and Illicit Drug Trafficking at the 12th ministerial meeting at Nay Pyi Taw.

External Affair Minister S.M Krishna, who attended the convention, met Myanmar Prime Minister General Thein Sein.

Later addressing reporters onboard, Krishna said he was assured by Sein that Myanmar soil would not be used to harbour anti-India insurgents.

"We did talk about the insurgency and we have been assured by the Prime Minister that the soil of Myanmar will never be allowed, to be used by any elements from within ... hostile to India, perhaps that assurance that will cover every issue that you might talk of insurgency," Krishna said.

There are reports that insurgents active in India's northeastern region take shelter in Myanmar.

On Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed seeking lifting of a ban on his Pakistan-based Jammat-ud-Dawah (JuD), outfit, Krishna said any new decision on the issue should be taken only after consulting New Delhi as it concerns security of the country.

"We have conveyed our concerns so far as Hafiz Saeed is concerned, we hold the views and there is no reason why we should revise our views because we have solid proof to the effect that Hafiz Saeed was the brain behind attacks on Mumbai, so it is necessary that friendly countries before acting any further, they would also be consulting India's and they would take into account India's vital security concern," he said.

He also expressed hopes that the US will either prosecute or extradite a Chicago man charged with helping plan last year's Mumbai attacks.

"Well I think the international dictum is that either prosecute or extradite, these two things that United States, being friendly country will do," he said. By Ravi Shankar (ANI)

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