Thimphu: Leaders of SAARC countries today
vowed to collectively combat the scourge of terrorism,
extremism and insurgency plaguing the region with Pakistan and
Bangladesh rejecting claims of those who justified violence in
the name of Islam.
Terrorism was high on the agenda at the two-day Summit
which kicked off today with Bhutanese Prime Minister Lyonchhen
Jigmi Thinley asserting that no cause could be enhanced or
served through acts of terror nor was it in any degree
deserving of sympathy and support.
"Those who are responsible for the perpetration of
such heinous crimes against humanity must know that they will
be brought to justice in a world where nations are acting
together and their individual and collective capacity to
apprehend the guilty is growing," he said.
Voicing concerns over terrorism, extremism and
radicalism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked the SAARC
countries to "revive the South Asia of our dreams that is once
again a source of new ideas, new knowledge and new
India`s strong push for the SAARC Convention on
Suppression of Terrorism and ratification of the Convention on
Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters received the backing of
In his speech, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani said terrorism was like a "toxic brew" under the garb
of different ideologies and underscored the need for the SAARC
countries to join hands individually and collectively.
He hoped the meeting of the SAARC Home Ministers in
Islamabad in June would help in synergising their positions to
effectively fight the menace.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said her
country was firmly opposed to terrorism, insurgency, organised
crimes and religious extremism.
"We categorically reject claims of those who cloak
themselves in the rhetoric of Islam, or any other faith to
justify violence. We are also committed against the use of
Bangladesh territory for launching terrorism elsewhere," she
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa also spoke of
the threat posed by terrorism and made a strong pitch for
collective action to defeat it.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said all SAARC members
should without exception or reservation should commit not to
allow their territories to be used directly or indirectly to
train or shelter terrorist networks.
He said the terrorist attacks in the last two years in
Kabul, Islamabad and Mumbai and elsewhere were yet again
gruesome reminders that terrorism continues to find a place in
Terrorist attacks have become audacious and its reach
spread aimed at destabilising societies, he said while asking
SAARC leaders to collectively resolve to decisively defeat all
forms and manifestations of terrorism in the region.