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SAARC adopts framework to tackle terror

In a significant move, the SAARC countries decide to put in place a regional legal framework to tackle terrorism, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

world Updated: Aug 02, 2008 23:42 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

In a significant move, the SAARC countries on Saturday decided to put in place a regional legal framework to tackle terrorism.

The Convention for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (MACM) will provide a broad framework for the SAARC member countries to mutually cooperate and assist in the investigation and prosecution of crime, including terrorism, and tracing, restraining and forfeiture of the proceeds and instruments of crime.

Under the proposed convention, the member countries will have to grant to each other the widest possible measure of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had recently said that India would push for a convention on mutual legal assistance among the SAARC nations over criminal matters, especially on the backdrop of the recent attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul.

A group of legal experts from the member countries poured over the details before placing a draft to the SAARC council of ministers.

Three other agreements would also be signed by the SAARC member countries.

These are on setting up a SAARC Development Fund, standardising items of trade in the region and accepting Afghanistan within the purview of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA).

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