SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism begins in New Delhi


India is hosting the second Meeting of the High Level Group of Eminent Experts to strengthen the SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism from September 22-23, 2016 in New Delhi.

Meeting of a High Level Group of Eminent Experts to strengthen the SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism was recommended by the SAARC Ministerial Declaration on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism (adopted by the 31st Meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers in Colombo, February 2009). India had hosted its first meeting in New Delhi from 9-10 February 2012.

Hosting the meeting for the second time, it is in line with the high priority India attaches for regional cooperation in Anti-Terrorism activities and given that terrorism remains the single biggest threat to peace, stability and progress in the region and beyond. The meeting provides a platform for discussing and identifying measures to tackle this menace threatening our societies.

The meeting will review the functioning of the existing anti-terrorism mechanisms in the region including the SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk (STOMD) and the SAARC Drug Offences Monitoring Desk (SDOMD), intelligence sharing and police cooperation. It will also discuss related issues such as combating corruption, cyber crimes, terror financing and money laundering. The High Level Meeting is expected to draw recommendations to strengthen the existing mechanisms and discuss potential new areas of cooperation.

Nominations have been received at senior levels from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives (led by Deputy Minister for Home Affairs), Nepal and Sri Lanka, while Pakistan is represented by two officials at the rank of Counsellor from their High Commission in New Delhi.

As in the previous meeting, Indian delegation is led by Director, Intelligence Bureau, who is also the Chairperson of the Meeting. Senior officials from Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and related agencies are also participating in the meeting.

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