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SAARC pledges 'bold efforts' to fight terrorism

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April 03, 2007 12:05 IST

Leaders from SAARC countries on Tuesday sought 'bold' steps to combat terrorism to fulfil the vision of peace, prosperity and cooperation in South Asia with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking member nations to sincerely implement the pledge to root out the scourge.

Addressing the 14th SAARC Summit, the leaders from the eight countries emphasised that the dream of a prosperous South Asia was not possible without addressing the security concerns of regional countries.

In his inaugural address, Dr Singh made it clear that there was a need for the countries in the region to go beyond commitments to fight terrorism.

"A primary requirement for the fulfillment of our vision of prosperity and cooperation in South Asia is peace. We should, therefore, implement, in a meaningful and sincere manner, the commitments and pledges to root out terrorism so as to create the atmosphere in which our endeavours can succeed," he stressed.

Sharing the concern, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse warned that unless the countries in the region acted collectively, 'trans-border groups will find safe havens in other parts of the region'.

"Modern day terrorists operate in a multi-dimensional fashion. They operate politically, militarily, financially and ideologically," he said.

Chief adviser of Bangladesh government, Fakhruddin Ahmed, made a strong pitch for addressing the 'root causes' that lead to violent actions.

"We must make bold efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," he said, emphasising that it would be impossible to realise the dream of a properous South Asia without addressing the security concerns of regional countries.

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