Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday wrote to SAARC secretariat on the 35th anniversary of the grouping’s founding. In an oblique reference to Pakistan, PM Modi said it is critical to fight the scourge of terrorism by all countries for this forum to make progress.
PM Modi said that India’s efforts for greater collaboration among the SAARC countries have repeatedly been challenged with threats and acts of terrorism.
Such efforts, PM Narendra Modi said, would generate greater trust and confidence to build a stronger SAARC.
“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. Such an environment impedes our shared objective of realising the full potential of SAARC,” PM Modi said.
The prime minister added: “It is critical that all countries in the region take effective steps to defeat the scourge of terrorism and the forces that support it. This will generate greater trust and confidence to build a stronger SAARC.”
SAARC summits are usually held biennially and hosted by member states in alphabetical order.
The 2016 SAARC Summit was to be held in Islamabad. But after the terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18 that year, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to “prevailing circumstances”.
The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet.