SAARC ministers call for collective action to fight terrorism

Bandos Island (Maldives): Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, Interior and Home Ministers of the eight-member SAARC group on Wednesday called for collective action in fighting the menace in its entirety.

The fifth meeting of the SAARC Home/Interior Ministers, which concluded here on Wednesday discussed ways to combat terrorism, piracy and trafficking in narcotics.

“We had very fruitful discussions on a number of issues important to the peace and security of our Asian region,” a statement issued after the meeting said.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde represented India at the meeting. “While condemning terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, the grouping called for collective action in fighting this menace in its entirety,” it said.

The member states were asked to ensure each other’s commitment towards working together effectively, in a result-oriented manner in fighting these social evils.

The grouping called for the need to induce collective wisdom of the nations of SAARC in deciding practical measures to fight terrorism and transnational organised crime.

The delegations from the member states briefed the meeting on the actions being taken by them to implement the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol, including the enactment of enabling legislations at the national level to give effect to the provisions of these instruments.

The Ministers also deliberated on the defamation of religion and adopted a statement in this regard.

In his inaugural address, Maldives’ Vice President Mohamed Waheed Deen said that SAARC was embarking on highlighting one of the most important issues that face all the nations of the world – its security.

“Security today, internal and external, is most important, especially in the high seas. Security of each nation is extremely important for their independence and to remain as a sovereign state. Therefore this meeting of Ministers of Interior and Home is very crucial at this moment, when the whole world is in turmoil,” he said.