‘South Asian countries need to work on terror’

New Delhi: India has pitched for more "collective efforts" by countries in South Asia to confront terrorists by identifying their financial linkages and breaking them to combat the menace in the region.

It also said that unless the financial link to terrorist groups that operate out of the region is broke, the vision of a "peaceful region" will take time to achieve.

"We need collective efforts to confront terrorists and identify the linkages they have with their network, especially the financial linkage. That has to be broken," Asok Mukerji, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, said.

He was addressing the 5th workshop for police officers, prosecutors and judges on counter-terrorism cooperation from SAARC countries organised by the Ministry and the UN.

Mukerji noted that the region has been "dragged by the activities" of groups like Al-Qaeda and its affiliates like the LeT for the past three decades and they pose serious challenge to peace, progress and prosperity in the region. He also said the international community should help countries which do not have the capacity to build counter- terrorism measures.

Mike Smith, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of CTED, called on countries in South Asia to strengthen the criminal justice system as part of their efforts to combat terrorism.

"Counter-terrorism measures need to be coordinated in countries. All the modest collective efforts will be helpful in combating the menace," he said.

He pitched the need for strengthening criminal justice system in South Asian countries.