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Terrorism hindered realising full potential of Saarc: PM Modi

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Terrorism hindered realising full potential of Saarc: PM Modi

The PM reiterated India’s continued support to various initiatives to achieve closer cooperation in diverse areas, and noted that while Saarc has made progress, more needs to be done.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said an atmosphere of threats and acts of terrorism have impeded the realisation of the full potential of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc).

In a letter sent to the Saarc secretariat, extending his greetings to the people of member countries on the occasion of the grouping’s 35th Charter Day on Sunday, Modi recalled that the organisation was set up to build a connected and integrated South Asia, and aimed at promoting the development and progress of all countries in the region.

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He reiterated India’s continued support to various initiatives to achieve closer cooperation in diverse areas, and noted that while Saarc has made progress, more needs to be done.

“SAARC has made progress, but more needs to be done. Our efforts for greater collaboration have repeatedly been challenged with threats and acts of terrorism,” Modi said.

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In this context, he highlighted that India’s efforts for greater collaboration have repeatedly been challenged with threats and acts of terrorism, and such an environment has impeded the shared objective of realising Saarc’s full potential.

Modi said it is critical for all countries in the region to take effective steps to defeat terrorism and the forces that support it to generate greater trust and confidence to build a stronger Saarc.

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“Such an environment impedes our shared objective of realising the full potential of SAARC. It is critical that all countries in the region take effective steps to defeat the scourge of terrorism and the forces that support it,” he said.

Following an attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri by Pakistan-based terrorists in 2016, India pulled out of the Saarc Summit that was to be held in Islamabad that year. Subsequently, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also pulled out of the meeting.

Since then, India has focused more on strengthening other regional groupings such as Bimstec.

On the occasion of Saarc Charter Day, Modi appealed to the citizens of all member countries to dedicate themselves to the task of fulfilling the people’s aspirations for a prosperous and peaceful South Asia.

“SAARC, set up as an organisation to build a connected and integrated South Asia, aims at promoting the development and progress of all countries in the region. India continues to support various initiatives to achieve closer cooperation in diverse areas,” Modi said.

During the first Saarc Summit in Dhaka, the heads of state and government adopted the grouping’s charter on December 8, 1985 to mark the beginning of a new era of regional cooperation. Since then, it has been customary for heads of state and government to issue messages to commemorate the Charter Day.

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