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In New Delhi: The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting cannot take place in India until one of its members stops committing terrorist acts, according to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who also implied that India will not tolerate a situation in which “terrorism happens by night and trade happens by day.”

When asked why people hadn’t heard much about SAARC, Jaishankar at the India International Centre responded, “You haven’t heard much about SAARC because there hasn’t been much to hear about in the last few years. We haven’t met since one of your SAARC members doesn’t meet all the prerequisites for a good membership, which is currently a challenge the SAARC is unable to overcome. You are aware that I stated that collaboration would nonetheless continue notwithstanding our inability to engage in terrorism.

“I believe that there are problems there, and it is time to acknowledge how serious they are and stop allowing terrorism to occur at night and trade to occur during the day. I don’t believe that serves the nation well,” he continued.

Jaishankar had previously cited Pakistan as the reason SAARC wasn’t a functioning entity. Because one SAARC member thinks that dealing with “neighbours is compatible with the factors of cross-border terrorism,” Jaishankar in Varanasi stated in December 2022 that the SAARC is currently inactive.

Notably, the SAARC is a grouping of eight South Asian nations, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Jaishankar stated that while relations with other bordering nations are fine, they are not with Pakistan and that this is due to cross-border terrorism.

“Pakistan is undoubtedly the exception in the vicinity, in my opinion. Again, not much explanation is required. We must prevent terrorism from becoming commonplace. That cannot serve as the foundation for engaging Pakistan in conversation. So it doesn’t seem like a very common sense notion to me,” Jaishankar remarked.

In fact, I’m still a little confused as to why we didn’t go to this location sooner. However, we are now there. The problem is that this strategy of cross-border terrorism won’t change unless, should we say, it is abrogated. It is evidently impossible to establish a typical connection with that specific neighbour, he continued.


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