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>Saarc failure overshadows anti-terrorism taskforce

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THE idea of regional anti-terrorism taskforce for South Asia is unlikely to shine as the past initiatives taken by Saarc to counter terrorism did not succeed, thanks to the India-Pakistan rift, Mohammad Yusuf writes in The Daily Star. 

Experts observed that South Asia needed joint efforts to fight terrorism, but they were skeptic about the success of a venture for a joint taskforce as the long simmering dispute between India and Pakistan worsened further over Mumbai tragedy in November.

Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, who teaches international relations at Dhaka University, suggested a national taskforce be formed first that would prepare a design of the South Asian taskforce which would be tabled at the next Saarc summit.

“A national taskforce can be formed comprising lawmakers, politicians, intellectuals and civil society members,” he said.

Security expert Shahedul Anam Khan said a regional taskforce might help fulfill the Saarc agreements on tackling terrorism but it was difficult to say how effective the proposed taskforce would be in the strategic orientation and geopolitical compulsion of the region.

It is quite evident that India and Pakistan cannot go together despite having inflicted by string of terrorist attacks. They failed to agree on a joint investigation into the Mumbai attack that rather whipped up a blame game and strained the relationship further.

Though Bangladesh is enthusiastic over the anti-terrorism taskforce, other countries made lukewarm response to the matter.


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