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Rajnath Singh may visit Pakistan for SAARC meet


New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to travel to Pakistan in August to attend the SAARC Home Interior/Home Ministers’ conference. Asked whether the Home Minister will travel to Pakistan to attend the SAARC Interior/Home Minister’s conference, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the issue was “under consideration”.

However, a confirmation will come from the Ministry of Home Affairs, he said. During the visit, apart from attending the SAARC meet, Singh is likely to have bilateral meetings with his counterparts from other SAARC member-countries, including Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Singh will be accompanied by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and several other senior officers of the Home Ministry.

Key issues like fight against terrorism, illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and small arms and how to make coordinated and concerted efforts to combat such menace will figure in the forthcoming meeting. The three-tier meeting will begin at the joint secretary-level and then move on to Secretary and Home Minister-level meetings.

The meeting will also focus on strengthening networking among police authorities of SAARC member-countries and also enhance information-sharing among law enforcement agencies.

The last meeting of SAARC Interior/Home Ministers’ conference was held in Kathmandu in 2014 when the Home Minister had said that member-nations of the group were facing common challenges and they should cooperate with each other to address them.

Singh had said that India was committed to reviving the grouping as a major forum to promote active regional collaboration.

The Home Minister had also voiced concern over the new threats of terrorism and violence to South Asia especially and asked SAARC countries to chalk out strategies to check radical groups and extremist ideologies.


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