Rajnath wants collaborative efforts by Saarc members

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2014 15:45 IST

Home minister Rajnath Singh wants collaborative efforts by all member countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) to address common issues.

“There are many common challenges faced by countries of the region and joint efforts are needed to tackle them,” Singh told journalists at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Thursday.

The home minister arrived in the Nepal capital on a two-day visit to take part in the ongoing sixth Saarc home ministerial meeting. This is his first visit to the Himalayan country since assuming office.

“Saarc can be a good medium to improve relations among all countries of the region,” said Singh.

Home ministers of seven Saarc countries will take part in the last day of the meeting on Friday. Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan won’t take part in the meeting.

“We have very old geographical, cultural and historical ties with Nepal and we believe in cordial relations with all our neighbours,” he said.

The first two days of the meeting witnessed immigration officials and home secretaries of all member countries discussing ways to address common security related issues.

Coordination among member states to tackle terrorism, smuggling of drugs and counterfeit currency, cyber crimes and trafficking of women and children in the region were also part of the deliberations.

Singh will meet Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, heputy prime minister-cum-home minister Bamdev Gautam and leaders of ruling Nepali Congress party on Thursday.

He is scheduled to meet President Ram Baran Yadav and leaders of other major political parties before departing for New Delhi.

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