Bandos Island (Maldives): Terming terrorism as the single largest socio-economic hindrance to development in South Asia, India today asked SAARC nations to deploy their best instruments and resources and cooperate meaningfully to take effective action against the menace.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said terrorism was a cancer and its linkages with organised crime has led to the simultaneous growth of trafficking in drugs, arms and exploitation of women and children.
"These are cancers that can only be removed from our region if we act in concert. Therefore, as neighbours and as partners in SAARC, we must work together much more closely and much more substantively.
"We must create an atmosphere of peace and security both within our individual borders, and across our borders," he said addressing the SAARC Home/Interior Ministers conference here.
Shinde said no country can live within islands of security if South Asia is insecure, or if sources of insecurity exist outside the region's borders. "Each instance of terrorism in our region is a reminder for us to cooperate in concrete action rather than merely in intentions... This is a hard reality that we seem to be forced to re-learn regularly," he said.
The Home Minister asked SARC member nations to deploy the best instruments and resources to fight terrorism, share capacities and to cooperate meaningfully, joining hands to take effective action against terror cells, extremist ideologies and agencies and organised crime syndicates.
"We cannot afford to be selective in our approach to such cancers in our region. As Ministers responsible for securing our nations, we need to consider if we are doing enough to address these challenges," Shinde said.