Pakistan intelligence chief to skip SAARC meet in India

The aim of the meet is to counter terrorism and strengthen anti-terrorism mechanisms in SAARC. Photograph:( AFP )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 21, 2016, 02.59 AM (IST)
Pakistan will not be sending its intelligence chief to India to attend a conference of top security experts of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries that starts Thursday, Indian news agency PTI reported today. 

As tensions continue to fester between two countries, especially in the wake of attack on Indian Army base in Uri sector of Kashmir Valley, director general of intelligence bureau of Pakistan, Aftab Sultan, will not attend the SAARC meeting and that country will be represented by an official of the Pakistan High Commission, a home ministry official has been quoted as saying. 

Intelligence chiefs of all other SAARC nations --Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives besides India --are set to participate in the two-day conference, being hosted by director of intelligence bureau Dineshwar Sharma. 

According to a statement issued by the home ministry, the aim of the meeting is to strengthen SAARC anti-terror mechanism. 

The agenda of the meeting includes functioning of SAARC Terrorist Offences Monitoring Desk (STOMD) and the SAARC Drug Offences Monitoring Desk (SDOMD), countering terrorism and strengthening anti-terrorism mechanisms in SAARC, intelligence sharing and police cooperation, human resource development and relationship building, combating corruption and cyber crimes, among others. 

The first such meeting was held in New Delhi in February 2012.

(WION with inputs from PTI)