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AIR Spotlight: SAARC Home Ministers Meeting



AIR Spotlight: SAARC Home Ministers Meeting


There was another Diplomatic slowdown between India and Pakistan in SAARC Home Ministers meeting. India choose to talk about Terrorism. In response Pakistan spoke about Kashmir issue. This is in violation of bilateral issue being brought at Regional level. This time the Host was Pakistani Home minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

India looked upon it as entirely SAARC meeting. Ever since jan 2004 meeting in Islamabad, India has been consistently in the front line supporting SAARC and push SAARC agenda.

There is an Agenda in the Home ministers meeting and Terrorism figures prominently on this Agenda. It has issues like Trafficking on women and child , drug offences, Terrorist offences monitoring desk and cyber crime.

The Agenda is supported by institutional arrangements. There is a SAARC convention on suppression of terrorism which was signed in late 1980s and SAARC protocol on financing of terrorist activities. In this context it is natural for India and focus on Terrorism and forthrightly put forward its views.

It is also incumbent on the host to focus on the Agenda of the meeting for which ministers are meeting.

Generally the Host country has an additional responsibility. The atmosphere in Pakistan is different. They have misperceived the global and regional situation.

The international community is very much against terrorism. This can be seen by the reaction of the US state department which said Pakistan should address issues of terrorism and not single out those terrorists who are against them and leave the others.

The SAARC charter clearly mentions that bilateral or contentious issues will not be dealt with. It also emphasises on peaceful coexistence in the charter. Pakistan is violating this.

India and SAARC.

Importance that India attaches to SAARC. Even our PM attaches at most importance to SAARC. The statement of the Home Minister in the SAARC meeting begins with the importance India gives to SAARC, Its neighbourhood first policy, and how SAARC figures prominently.

Indian Home minister’s address in the meeting.

Home minister in his address says ” I thank pakistan for the excellent arrangement made and outstanding hospitality extended”. India played exactly according to the books, but the response is altogether different from pakistan.

Pakistan must realise that, not talking is not an option.

India emphasises that, there is nothing called good terrorist and bad terrorist. There should be immediate action on Pathankot incident.

The biggest challenge for the SAARC is terrorism. Home minister talked about terror links between cyber crime and others. Terrorism constitutes a biggest danger for Human Rights. For respecting Human Rights, terrorism is a big obstacle.

Home minister mentioned, the terrorists sanctioned by international community should be arrested and should be given a profile in pakistan. The state and non state actors who support terrorism are deserved to have effective action. There should be tough action against individuals, organisations, agencies and governments who support terrorism.

SAARC convention on mutual legal assistance against criminal matters, should also be ratified. pakistan is the only country which has not yet ratified.

There are Terrorist offences monitoring desk and drug offences monitoring desk under SAARC. Both these desks are in sri lanka. India is been supporting these desks and their activities and providing technical assistance. All countries should support them. Here again pakistan’s attitude has been ambivalent.

The world today knows pakistan involvement of terrorist activities.

USA refused  giving pakistan $300 million assistance recently.

The absence of Bangladesh Home minister was very eloquent. They have very strain relations with pakistan.

The outcome of the meeting.

Pakistan subordinated the SAARC agenda to their bilateral issues. The meeting got wasted in the whole process.