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Regional cooperation essential to fight terror: Zardari

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari today stressed the importance of regional cooperation and trans-national linkages to wipe out the scourge of terrorism from the South Asian region.

world Updated: Jun 26, 2010 22:12 IST

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday stressed the importance of regional cooperation and trans-national linkages to wipe out the scourge of terrorism from the South Asian region.

"It is therefore, national and collective responsibility to make sincere efforts and implement strategies to rid the South Asian region of terrorism and militancy," he said at a meeting with the interior/home ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member states who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Online news agency reported.

"Each act of terror reminded us of the gravity of the issue of terrorism which transcended national boundaries and considerations of ethnicity, religion and civilizations," he said, reaffirming his country's position that it is opposed to all forms of terrorism regardless of where from they originated or where they struck.

Zardari said that the countries should join hands to identify and punish the perpetrators of terrorism instead of resorting to a blame game which, he said, was counter productive and played into the hands of militants.

He said Pakistan had embarked upon a plan to reform the education sector as part of a long term strategy to fight the militant mindset.

Zardari said that regional cooperation in South Asia is the only realistic way forward for which SAARC should be made more relevant and visible.

Those who called on the president included India's P.Chidambaram, Afghanistan's Mohammad Munir Mangal, Bhutan's Lyonpo Minjur Dorji, Maldives' Mohamed Shihab, Nepal's Bhim Bahadur Rawal and Sri Lanka's Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka.

The interior secretaries of the SAARC countries and SAARC Secretary General Sheel Kant Sharma were also present during the meeting.