Speaking on the SAARC anti-terror mechanism, Intelligence Bureau Director Dineshwar Sharma on Thursday stopped short of naming Pakistan while stating that the attack on the Army camp in Uri is “only one in a series of such dastardly acts during the last few decades for which planning, financing, training, arming and indoctrination on religious lines owe their origins to sources beyond the borders of India”.
“We are meeting at a time when all our countrymen and women are highly agitated over the terror strike at Uri in J&K, in which 18 of our brave soldiers achieved martyrdom and an equal number are battling for their lives,” the IB chief said here during the second meeting of the High-Level Group of Eminent Experts on Anti-Terror Mechanism SAARC.
While senior officials from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives (led by Deputy Minister for Home Affairs), Nepal and Sri Lanka are attending the meeting, Pakistan decided not to send its Intelligence Bureau chief Aftab Sultan for the meeting. Pakistan is being represented by two officials of the rank of counsellor from the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.
“All of our countries have experienced the ravages of terrorism in some form or the other. Terrorist organisations use easily accessible technology to attack both soft and hard targets to undermine public confidence and eventually the structure of the state,” Sharma said.
“Self-radicalisation over internet and social media, and spread of influence of Islamic State all over, including in our country, has added new dimensions to the threat. No country today is in a position to tackle this problem on its own. Close cooperation and sharing of real-time intelligence are, therefore, imperative for all of us.”
The two-day meeting will review the functioning of the existing anti-terrorism mechanisms in the region, including the SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk and SAARC Drug Offences Monitoring Desk, intelligence-sharing and police cooperation. It will also discuss related issues such as combating corruption, cyber crime, terror financing and money-laundering.
The IB chief referred to several conventions enacted by SAARC such as the Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and Additional Protocols. “In order to benefit from these conventions, each member state needs to ratify and enable these conventions,” he said.