Varanasi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday gave a stern message to Pakistan, which supports terrorism, saying that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is not active because one of the members believes that dealing with the neighbour is compatible with cross-border terrorism.
Responding to a question about India being inactive with other SAARC members, without mentioning Pakistan, Jaishankar said, “I don’t think we are isolated from the SAARC. Why SAARC currently is not active because one member of the SAARC believes that dealing with neighbours is compatible with the factors of cross-border terrorism.”
Notably, the SAARC is the regional intergovernmental organization of eight countries in South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
He also said that India’s relations with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka are strong and have grown “stronger” in five years. EAM Jaishankar also said that trade, investments and cooperation have also grown.
“The problem with this is how to deal with somebody in the room who is standing with you… and by the end of the day sending people with drugs and that is the problem,” Jaishankar added.
Earlier today, while addressing the students at BHU, Jaishankar announced that Varanasi will host the G20 development ministers meeting.
“Kashi is one of the important venues where the G20 meeting will take place. And one of the meetings, the development ministers meeting will take place which I will be chairing,” Jaishankar said.
“So you will be more likely to see me on the streets of Varanasi,” he added.
Jaishankar also said that India has become more dominant regionally. Earlier, the world used to see India and Pakistan on equal terms but not anymore, not even Pakistan. India came out in the region as the primary power, he added.
Jaishankar further stated that the whole set of institutions, ideas and campaigns are coming out of India.
“When the world looks at the rise of India, for them the contribution and successes of the diaspora are part of the story of the rise of India. So we too have a responsibility. If so many Indians live abroad it’s our duty to look after them,” EAM said.