Coordinated efforts required to combat terrorism in SAARC region: Pak Minister for Interior, Rehman Malik
(APP) - 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. Minister for Interior, Rehman Malik, who presided over the important meeting as Chairman, remained busy during his stay and met with 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 relevant officials of SAARC including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, and Nepal attended the Conference.
In his address to the conference, Rehman 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.
He had 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 Pakistan, its people and armed forces had offered great services and sacrifices in the war against terrorism and to prevent the terrorists from fanning out to other parts of the country as well as the whole region. The war against terrorism would continue till its elimination, he added.
He 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 precious lives in the war against terror.
Rehman 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.
The Interior Ministers of SAARC region appreciated the address of Rehman Malik, in which he ably highlighted the efforts of Pakistan in the war against terrorism and extremism.
On the sideline of the fourth SARRC Home Ministers’ Conference, Rehman Malik called on Prime Minister of Bhutan and conveyed him the messages of good wishes from President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Malik said he offered Pakistan’s support to Bhutan in the areas of police training, anti-money laundering efforts and for making computerized identity cards and machine readable passports.
Prime Minister Jigme Thinley appreciated and recognized Pakistan’s contribution and sacrifices in the anti-terrorism drive and said Pakistan’s proposals for eliminating the menace of terrorism were useful.
Rehman Malik also met with his Indian counterpart P.Chidambaram and discussed matters relating to mutual interests.
He affirmed that his ministry was working toward an early visit of a Judicial Commission from Pakistan to India which would take place at an early date. Upon his arrival from Bhutan, Rehman Malik told mediapersons that Pakistan had given a suggestion in the Conference to work on proposals regarding money laundering, drug money and other issues which all related to terrorism.
Pakistan’s Minister for Interior, Rehman 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. Some are suffering heavily while some comparatively less, he added.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.
He said that Pakistan, its people and armed forces have offered great services and sacrifices in the war against terrorism to eliminate terrorists from country as well as the whole region. The war against terrorism would continue till its elimination, he added.
Minister said that Pakistan is doing its best to eradicate terrorism but Pakistan cannot alone do it. All SAARC states should come forward to help Pakistan and we should make a common strategy against our common enemy, he added.
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.