SAARC nations agree to fight terrorism
South Asian nations have pledged to cooperate more to combat terrorism in the region as India and Pakistan express willingness to work on security together, Press TV reported.
Interior ministers from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) concluded a two-day conference on Saturday, pledging to "extend cooperation to each other against terrorism."
At the SAARC meeting, which kicked off on Friday in Bhutan, discussions were held on ways to curb terrorism and drug trafficking in the region.
In the spotlight were the Indian and Pakistani home ministers, who met to discuss normalizing relations and repairing bilateral ties, which were seriously strained in the wake of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks that left at least 166 people dead.
Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram and his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik held a joint press conference late on Saturday, saying the two countries would work together to fight terrorism.
"We would like that our FIA (Federal Investigation Agency) and their investigators on the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) side interact with each other in the matters of terrorism, including the Bombay blasts," Malik said, using Mumbai's former name.
"We both are against these acts of terrorism and we will work together to clear this menace in this region... We have decided to work together and to give a very clear message to terrorists: Look we are united stand together!"
Chidambaram also called for increased cooperation among SAARC neighbors to eradicate terrorism in South Asia and expressed confidence "that the outcome of our meeting and interaction will be very good for both countries."
At a press conference earlier, the Indian home minister asked the Pakistani authorities to prosecute more suspects in connection with the Mumbai attacks. Malik held a separate press conference but did not comment on his counterpart's call.
Founded in 1985, SAARC is an economic and political organization of eight countries in South Asia, namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan.