Top security experts from South Asian countries, except Pakistan, will meet in New Delhi for two days beginning on Thursday to mull ways to strengthen the anti-terrorism mechanism in the region. 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, an official statement said.
The meeting was recommended by the SAARC Ministerial Declaration on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism, adopted by the 31st Meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers in Colombo, in 2009.
However, the meeting will not be attended by Director General of Intelligence Bureau of Pakistan Aftab Sultan, amid the ongoing hostility between India and Pakistan over terror attack in Uri.
It is being hosted by Director of Intelligence Bureau Dineshwar Sharma and intelligence chiefs of all other SAARC nations — Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives besides India — will participate.
The meeting 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.