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Pak opposes the SAARC extradition treaty
April 02, 2007 20:25 IST
Efforts by SAARC countries to put in place a regional Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty has run into rough weather with Pakistan opposing the extradition clause proposed by India.
Most members of the eight-nation grouping, including India and Sri Lanka, were keen to have such an arrangement to fight terror effectively.
"This is an issue which we have discussed with Pakistan and other neighbouring countries for years. Obviously we don't have identical views on it," Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters here today after the meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers ahead of the two-day summit commencing Tuesday.
The Pakistani side objected to the extradition clause on the ground that such an arrangement should be only at a bilateral level rather than at a multilateral level under a regional forum.
It was, however, made clear that Pakistan was not averse to having such a treaty for combating narcotics trafficking, money laundering and other trans-border crimes.
Menon said Sri Lanka has offered to host a meeting to look at the issues raised by the member countries. He said India has offered to circulate a draft of a possible regional mutual assistance treaty.
"Once we circulate the draft, then we will see how to work through our positions and see whether these can be reconciled or not. We have the means within SAARC to deal with the issue which we hope to use to move this forward," he said.