UN seeks South Asia anti-terrorism cooperation


As a step to building regional cooperation on terrorism, the UN brought police and prosecutors from eight SAARC countries to share experiences and technical data about problems in fighting terrorism. Mike Smith, the UN official who organised the three-day workshop in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, said the workshop stayed away from political issues and concentrated on the technical side of police and legal work.

"We didn't talk about it (Kashmir). We didn't talk about politics, we only concentrated on professional counter-terrorism stuff," Smith, the Director of UN counter-terrorism committee told reporters here. Besides India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, other delegates who took part came from Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. "We thought at political level we could not get more interaction and more cooperation...we might try to start at a more working level," the UN official said.

Stating that the first workshop was a success, Smith hoped that it would encourage the UN to initiate more such counter-terrorism projects in South Asia as this was necessary since the region was worst-hit by terrorism. But Smith said regional cooperation to fight terrorism has been very limited so the UN decided to invite senior police and prosecution officials from eight South Asian nations to the workshop to compare how they work and "to start building habits of cooperation between the countries." "After three days of sitting together, we were glad to see the extent to which these professionals were reacting with each other in a very positive way and a very professional way," he told a news conference here.

He said the conference did not mean that Indian and Pakistani police and prosecutors would start calling their counterparts. "I am certainly not expecting that next week they will pick up the phone and talk to each other. That is not going to happen. We are not saying this is an enormous breakthrough, it is a small but significant first step at building cooperation at working level," the UN official hoped. United Nations is realistic in its expectations and would continue to focus on harnessing more regional cooperation on areas of techniques of counter-terrorism in South Asia, Smith said.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry