English rendition of the statement by Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh in Parliament on his participation in the 7th SAARC Meeting of Interior/Home Ministers in Pakistan

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh today made a statement in both Houses of the Parliament on his participation in the 7th SAARC Meeting of Interior/Home Ministers in Pakistan on August 4, 2016. 

Following is the English rendition of the statement: 

“I had participated in the 7th Meeting of Home Ministers held on 04.08.16. 

The prominent items on the Agenda were terrorism, smuggling of narcotic drugs, cyber crime and human trafficking. Most of the participating nations strongly condemned terrorism in all its manifestations. 

On India’s behalf, I laid special emphasis on the scourge of terrorism. I am sure all the members of this august house would agree with me that the biggest challenge to the peace and prosperity of South Asia is terrorism. I called for hardening our resolve to eradicate this menace of terrorism. 

I also stressed on the need to ensure that terrorism is not glorified and is not patronized by any State. One country’s terrorist cannot be a martyr or freedom fighter for anyone else. I had clearly pointed out that strongest possible steps need to be taken, not only against terrorists and terrorist organizations but also those individuals, institutions, organizations or nations that support them. Only this will ensure that the forces engaged in promoting the heinous crime of terrorism against humanity are effectively countered. 

In addition, on India’s behalf I had placed the following suggestions:- 

(i) The will and the mandate of the international community against proscribed and wanted terrorists and their organizations must be respected and implemented. 

(ii) Attempts to distinguish between good and bad terrorists should be done away with, as this would be a mistake. 

(iii) Immediate and effective action is required against all those who support or encourage international terrorism in any way, whether they are state or non-state actors. 

(iv) Effective measures to be taken to ensure that those involved in terrorist acts do not escape prosecution and punishment, and are extradited so that they cannot escape prosecution. 

(v) All member states, who have not ratified SAARC convention on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters, need to ratify the same. 

(vi) Member states who have not yet given their acceptance to set up SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk (STOMD) should give their concurrence for the same. 

I made a special mention at the Conference on the number of new initiatives taken in India such as “Track Child” and “Operation Smile”. In addition, I brought to the notice of the participants the measures taken by the Indian Government for honest, transparent and accountable governance through schemes such as “Jan Dhan Yojana” and “Aadhaar”. 

The following initiatives were declared on India’s behalf in the SAARC meeting of Home Ministers and Home Secretaries:- 

(i) Technical assistance for effective implementation of STOMD and SDOMD 

(ii) To seek the concurrence of member states to participate in the second High Level Group of eminent experts to strengthen the SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism being hosted by India on September 22-23, 2016. Fortunately all member states agreed. 

(iii) Capacity Building Programmes in India to strengthen drug control mechanisms of member States. 

(iv) Offered to host the first meeting of SAARC Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). 

In so far as our neighbour is concerned, Pakistan is yet to ratify the SAARC convention on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters. Pakistan is also yet to convey its concurrence on setting up of STOMD and SDOMD. Pakistan mentioned that they would act soon on these issues. I only hope and wish that the “soon” would actually be soon. 

The dark clouds of terrorism are enveloping not only South Asia, but the entire world. The entire world community is aware and extremely worried of this grave danger. India has clearly given out its message against this evil which endangers humanity. Most of the participating Member Nations also have expressed their concerns against the scourge of terrorism. Hon’ble Speaker, I would like to emphasize that India had given this message for the sake of humanity and for protection of human rights. Hon’ble Members of this august House would agree with me that terrorism is the biggest enemy of mankind.” 

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