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Saturday, 26 July 2008

Terrorism expected to be high on agenda of SAARC summit

In the backdrop of attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul and upsurge of violence in Sri Lanka, terrorism is expected to be high on the agenda of the upcoming SAARC Summit in Colombo.

The two-day Summit from August 2, which will be preceded by official and ministerial level meetings beginning tomorrow, will also deliberate on food security, energy security and connectivity.

The SAARC meet will discuss how to deal with the scourge of terrorism that is affecting several of the eight member countries, particularly India, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Besides these countries, SAARC also comprises Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Bhutan.

The meet will seek to formalise a regional Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) in Criminal Matters as a tool to check terrorism through cooperation in investigation and other aspects.

India has been pressing for the legal framework, particularly in the wake of the July 7 Kabul attack which has trans-national linkages.

The regional MLAT was discussed at the last Summit held in New Delhi in April last year but it could not be finalised because of opposition by Pakistan to the extradition clause.

The Summit will also deliberate on the issues of food and energy security in view of the increasing prices of eatables and fuels.

The upcoming Summit is expected to see progress on the proposal for setting up of a SAARC Food Bank aimed at meeting the requirements of the member countries in the times of need.

The Summit will also deliberate on continued implementation of the connectivity, the theme of the last meet.

Source: outlookindia