The 7th meeting of SAARC Immigration Authorities was held in Islamabad, Pakistan on August 2. The meeting was chaired by Pakistan’s Director General Immigration and Passports Usman A. Bajwa.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is regional intergovernmental organization and geo political union in South Asia. Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It was founded in Dhaka in 1985. Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu.
- SAARC compromises 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 9.12% of the global economy in 2015. The organization promotes development of economical and regional integration.
- It launched the South Asian Free Trade Area in 2006. SAARC maintains permanent diplomatic relations at the UN as an observer and has developed links with multilateral entities, including the EU.
- However, the organization continues to face many challenges. Disputes between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan have often clouded the union’s potential and progress.
Immigration Authorities Meeting(August 2-3, 2016):-
Pakistan’s Director General Immigration and Passports Usman A. Bajwa who was unanimously elected as Chairman chaired this meeting. Several Immigration authorities of the member countries presented in this meeting. The meeting emphasized three important factors regarding the immigration facilities of its member countries,
- To coordinate different areas to maximize the potential of visa exemption scheme launched among the member countries
- To be deliberate on development of security software for SAARC visa exemption scheme and immigration matters.
- To implement Visa exemption scheme among SAARC countries in twenty-four categories including dignitaries, businessmen, journalists and sports persons.
Home Ministers Meeting(August 4-5, 2016):-
- The meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) interior ministers held in Islamabad with regional affairs, terrorism, prevention of drugs and human trafficking on its agenda.
- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the two-day SAARC interior ministers meeting, which is attended by interior ministers from all Saarc states except for Bangladesh.
Indian-Occupied Kashmir became the hot topic at dais amid killings of over 50 innocent Kashmiri youth at the hands of Indian forces.
- Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Indian Counterpart Rajnath Singh indirectly sued each other with words relating to their nation’s morality.
It is noted that Indian Internal Minster put forward many applaudable points such as,
- “No good terrorists or bad terrorists“ ,
- Terrorism remains the biggest challenge and threat to our peace. South Asia continues to be deeply affected by this malady
- One country’s terrorist cannot be a martyr or freedom fighter for anyone. I also speak for the entire humanity.
- He demanded for the Convention includes ensuring effective measures so that those committing terrorist acts do not escape prosecution and punishment and also called for implementation of SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol.