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SAARC Grapples for Consensus on Anti-Terrorism Message


The closing declaration to be issued by the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation is certain to mention terrorism. But there are differences among the eight member states about the causes of terrorism, and how to coordinate the fight against it. VOA's Steve Herman reports from New Delhi, where the summit has begun its final day.

Despite various declarations and the establishment of a terrorism monitoring desk, SAARC has little to show on the anti-terrorism front from its two decades of existence.

Speaking on Tuesday, the chief advisor to Bangladesh's caretaker government, Fakhruddin Ahmed, called for "bold measures" to combat all forms of terrorism in the region.

"We should also address the root causes that lead to violent actions," he said.

Almost all SAARC member nations have suffered from terrorism in one form or another, but they do not all agree on the causes. India, in particular, regularly accuses Pakistan of sponsoring separatist terrorism in the disputed region of Kashmir. Pakistan denies this.

The two-day summit, which also includes leaders from Afghanistan, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, is due to issue its declaration at the close of Wednesday's session.

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