Saarc home ministers to meet in Pakistan | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 23, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 23, 2010

Saarc home ministers to meet in Pakistan

Building up a regional police network to curb trans boundary crimes will be high on agenda of the upcoming Home Ministers' Conference of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) scheduled for June 26 in Islamabad.
The proposal to strengthen police cooperation, women and children trafficking, prevention of smuggling of counterfeit notes and drugs will be highlighted at the meeting said diplomatic sources.
They said the Home Ministers of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will discuss ways to strengthen the Colombo-based Saarc Terror Offences Monitoring Desk and Drug Offences Monitoring Desk, which are the nodal agencies to fight against these problems, Foreign Ministry sources said.
Home Secretary is expected to represent Bangladesh though no decision has yet been made regarding the Home Minister's presence at the conference said Foreign Ministry sources.
A meeting of Police Chiefs and Home Secretaries of the Saarc countries will precede the conference on June 24 and 25. DG of RAB Hasan Mahmud Khandaker will represent IGP of Bangladesh Police.
Earlier, the eight member countries of the Saarc agreed to build up a network among their police forces. Implementation of the agreement will feature in next week's discussion.
The Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement, reached at the Saarc Summit in Colombo in 2008, has not yet been ratified by Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nepal.
The agreement will create greater scope for cooperation among the security forces of the member countries in hunting, arresting and handling over of terrorists and criminals to their respective countries.
A new proposal for cooperation on maritime security mooted by Sri Lanka and Maldives will also be discussed, said official sources.
The conference will also discuss Saarc Visa facility and review possibilities for its category expansion. At present members of parliaments, judges of higher courts, top ranking business leaders, prominent sports persons and senior journalists can avail the facility.
The first meeting of its kind was held in Dhaka in 2006 and the second in New Delhi in 2007. The 3rd SAARC Home Ministers' conference has been postponed numerous times due to inability of certain member countries to attend the meeting.

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