25 July :Progress has been made in the direction of achieving regional cooperation for tackling trans-national crime and terrorism in the two years of New Delhi’s chairmanship of SAARC, India has said.
"Among other things progress has been made in agreements on mutual legal assistance for fighting trans-national crime and terrorism during the past two years of SAARC chairmanship held by India," Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood said in Kathmandu at an interaction of representatives of member countries, ahead of the 15th SAARC Summit.
Besides, India has taken initiatives in a number of areas including zero duty access to least developed countries (LDCs) from January 2008 and unilaterally reducing its negative list of LDCs from 744 to around 500, Sood said, adding that India had also committed USD 138 million to the SAARC Development Fund to be utilized for maternal health and child care.
Sood also said that a number of sub-regional and regional rail, road and sea-links have been identified for the multi-modal transport system being developed for the region which will enhance connectivity and be specially helpful for land locked countries like Nepal and Bhutan.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Ambassador Syad Abrar Hussain underlined the importance of regional cooperation in tackling the menace of terrorism.
"Pakistan has enacted enabling legislation to combat terrorism and to deal with drug and human trafficking," he said.
Nepalese Foreign Secretary Gyan Chandra Acharya said that as head of caretaker government Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala will lead the Nepalese delegation at the SAARC Summit to be held in Colombo from August 2-3, in case a new government is not formed within 5-6 days.
India will hand over the chair to Sri Lanka at the summit this year. Courtsey DD NEWS