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SAARC: India to focus on terrorism
March 28, 2007 20:40 IST
With cross-border terrorism and infiltration continuing, India will use the upcoming South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation summit to press for practical cooperation from other members of the regional grouping to address the problem.
Rejecting Pakistan's efforts to define terrorism in any particular way, New Delhi underlined that everyone knows what the scourge constitutes and that it was important to end it.
Implementation of legal frameworks like the SAARC Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and Additional Protocol and establishment of mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties will be pursued by India at the summit.
As SAARC enters the third decade of its existence, New Delhi wants the eight-nation regional body to become effective and in this regard connectivity, economic linkages and free movement will be among the main themes.
Establishing legal instruments, including Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and Additional Protocol on ending funding to terrorists has been an issue before the SAARC, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told a press conference during a briefing on the summit to be held in New Delhi on April 3-4.
He said proposals for having Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and Extradition Treaty have also come forth. "The discussions have not yet resulted in unanimity or agreement," he said, adding the upcoming summit will provide an occasion to deliberate upon these as it is a political forum.
On Pakistan raising questions over definition of terrorism, he said the SAARC Convention makes it clear what constitutes terrorism. "We all know what terrorism is. There is no need for going into sementics," he said.