ISLAMABAD: Regional cooperation and establishment of transnational linkages are essential for fighting terrorism effectively, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Saturday.

“It is, therefore, the national and collective responsibility to make sincere efforts and implement strategies to rid the South Asian region of terrorism and militancy,” he said. Zardari was talking to interior ministers of SAARC member states who met him at the Presidency.

Briefing reporters, the President’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said Zardari felicitated the SAARC interior ministers on the adoption of a unanimous declaration against terrorism, drug trafficking and agreement to facilitate visas to journalists and businessmen through SAARC visa stickers.

The president said each act of terror reminded them of the gravity of the issue of terrorism, which transcended national boundaries and considerations of ethnicity, religion and civilisations.

Zardari said Pakistan opposed all forms of terrorism, regardless of where these originated or where they occurred.

He said in case of a terrorist attack anywhere, countries should join hands to identify and punish the perpetrators instead of indulging in a blame game, which he said was counter-productive and played into the hands of terrorists. President Zardari said regional cooperation in South Asia was the only realistic way forward, for which SAARC should be made more relevant and visible. Welcoming the interior ministers of SAARC member countries, he assured them that the country would continue to give high priority to the association.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi were also present in the meeting.

Source: Daily Times – 27.06.2010

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