With Mumbai serial blasts still fresh in memory, India is expected to ask SAARC nations to take strong action against terrorists operating in South Asia and pitch for strengthening regional efforts for preventing and combating the menace.
During the three-day conference of the SAARC Interior/ Home Ministers that began on Thursday, New Delhi is also likely to press for sharing information among the member nations about terrorists and fugitives and adopting concrete steps against abuse of illicit traffic of narcotic drugs and human trafficking.
“There will be discussion of terrorism. We will take stock of the follow up action taken after the last year’s meeting,” Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh told PTI here.
The Ministerial meeting, to be attended by Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik among others, will review the progress made so far on the implementation of various conventions such as the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol and SAARC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.
Strengthening of the institutional mechanisms of the SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk, the SAARC Drug Offences Monitoring Desk and the Colombo and Islamabad Declaration on Combating Terrorism will be discussed threadbare during the conference.
While Thursday’s meeting was attended by immigration officials of the eight SAARC member countries, on Friday’s session will be attended by Home/Interior Secretaries.
The Ministerial meeting will take place on Saturday.
In their respective meetings, both Mr. Chidambaram and Dr. Singh are expected to forcefully raise India’s concern over cross border terrorism, terrorists finding safe havens and elements sponsoring terrorist groups, and may ask coordinated action against them.
Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Y Thinley, who is the SAARC chair, will be the chief guest at the inaugural session of the Ministerial meeting.
The last meeting of SAARC Interior/ Home Ministers was held in June 2010 in Islamabad.