Kathmandu, Nepal: The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh participated in the sixth meeting of SAARC Ministers of Interior/Home held at Kathmandu, Nepal today. All the other SAARC Ministers of Interior / Home of the member countries viz. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka also participated in the Meeting.
In his opening remarks during the meeting, the Union Home Minister stressed India’s commitment to a stable, peaceful and prosperous South-Asian neighbourhood. He emphasized the commitment of the present Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for giving primacy to improving India’s relations with all SAARC neighbours.
The Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh underlined that terrorism is a major issue of concern for the region. This is driven by internal, regional as well as international factors. Further, groups with radical and extremist ideologies pose threats across national boundaries in the volatile security environment. He also mentioned that India is carefully assessing the impact of the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan on the entire South Asian region. The Home Minister expressed concern about the new threats of extremism, terrorism, violence emerging in this region.
The Union Home Minister also stressed that Government of India is committed to securing justice for the families of the victims of deadly terrorist strikes like the killings during the terrorist attack in Mumbai in November 2008.
Shri Rajnath Singh referred to the problems that India is facing due to drug smuggling particularly in Punjab, money laundering, terrorist funding, Cyber Crime, human Trafficking and illegal movement of arms across National boundaries. Linked to this issue is the increasing circulation of counterfeit currency in India’s neighborhood.
The Home Minister further stated that the menace of terrorism, drug abuse, drug trafficking etc. can be best fought if we share our experiences at the operational level. He proposed to establish a SAARC Centre for Good Governance where officers from all member countries can come together to exchange their experiences on good governance.
While concluding, Shri Rajnath Singh stated that the periodic meeting of SAARC Home Ministers provides India a timely opportunity to underscore the imperative of meaningful and substantive cooperation within the region, against terrorism in particular and organized crime in general.
Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.