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Militancy, a global concern, says Pakistan lawmaker

New Delhi, Fri, 09 Sep 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Sep.9 (ANI): Pakistan lawmaker Farzana Raja said that militancy was a global issue and added that his country was ready to help the world counter it as she called for stronger socio-political ties amongst South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.


Raja said this while addressing mediapersons after attending a meeting of South Asia Forum here on Thursday.


In a statement issued to mediapersons, she said that since Pakistan has been a victim of extremism, it should be considered an ally in this battle to end the scourge of terrorism.


"During the discussions today and yesterday, I emphasised on the fact that militancy is a global problem and we are with the world in the fight against terrorism. A lot of people as well as army officers have died in militant attacks in Pakistan and the security forces in the country are constantly working to root out militancy from Pakistan. This is a sign that terrorism has gripped the entire world and other countries should also realise that we are a universal family and we need to fight against the problem together," said Raja.


Since the meeting between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in July, it appears that relations have improved between the neighbouring countries. However, critics admit that it is still too early in the day to state whether it shall last, given the mutual distrust and domestic issues that have served to impede the progress.


Recent talks have been positive, with the two countries agreeing to expand confidence-building measures in nuclear and conventional weapons, and improve trade and travel across the ceasefire line dividing the disputed Kashmir.


Raja added that it was vital for the member nations to apply a time frame to SAARC policies and review them constantly, further ensuring improved relations amongst countries.


"I also think that there should a time frame for the policies that we talk about or implement so that we can evaluate their performance and foster better relations amongst south-Asian countries," said Raja.


Earlier on Thursday, she urged SAARC members to work together for regional prosperity and stated that development should be the top priority for South Asian governments.


She also stressed on the need to fortify SAARC as an organization and make it a strong economic union.


"We should all work towards fortifying SAARC and give it the shape of an economic union just like the European Union that has their own political situations and conditions. Keeping in mind the sovereignty of each nation and its citizens, we should devise certain policies that will benefit the organisations and it's member countries," said Raja.


She also appealed to SAARC member nations to introspect on how far the international forum had succeeded in reaching its objectives and goals.


Many feel that the unmitigated animosity between India and Pakistan has undermined greater regional cooperation, an agenda that was the founding principle of the eight-nation bloc of SAARC.


Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh and Afghanistan make up the rest of the group.


While SAARC summits are often little more than a backdrop to bilateral meetings between India and Pakistan, the bloc has tried to push forward cooperation in trade and commerce. (ANI)


Read More: South Goa | Maldi | SAARC

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