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Combating terrorism in SAARC region:

Coordinated efforts required- Malik

The fourth South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Interior Ministers' Conference was a good platform to discuss regional anti-terrorism strategy and would go a long way in combating this menace due to which entire region is suffering, Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.

He presided over the meeting as chairman.

Malik also met Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigme Yoser Thinley and other ministers on the sidelines of the Conference, held in Thimphu from July 21-23. Home and Interior Ministers, secretaries and other officials of SAARC including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, and Nepal attended the Conference.

In his address to the conference, Malik emphasized coordinated and concerted efforts to combat terrorism and money laundering.

He suggested that there is need for constitution of a SAARC Pol on the pattern of Interpol. Malik said there was also need of a SAARC Commission with the objective to promote harmony and at the same time a joint Task Force need to be formed to control incidents of pirates in Indian Ocean.

The minister said Pakistani people are suffering due to terrorism for the last 10 years and experienced 7,485 bomb explosions out of which 3,800 were suicide bombings. "More than 35,000 innocent Pakistanis have lost their lives in the war against terror." Malik also informed the Conference that Pakistan was following three-D policy to combat terrorism and said Pakistan has further improved rules and regulations regarding border control and immigration in the country.

Malik said that SAARC can play an important role in war against terror as it represents one fourth population of the world.

Talking to Pakistan Television (PTV) he said that it is very crucial time as people are suffering especially due to terrorism. The whole region of SAARC is suffering from it.

Malik said that terrorism is the common problem of all SAARC member states and we should make common strategy to eliminate this menace from the society.

Malik said that there is a track financing to the terrorists and the leads go beyond the boundaries of Pakistan. Terrorists are moving with strategy and planning therefore we have all to work together to fight this menace.

"I am sure, the decisions taken in SAARC will go all the way with positively, cooperation and working our ways and means in practical terms," he said.

 

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