Regional cooperation in South Asia not possible without peace and security, says EAM Swaraj

Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj made a strong statement on terrorism threatening peace and stability in South Asia at a meeting of SAARC ministers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.

Regional cooperation in South Asia is not possible without an environment of peace and security, said EAM Swaraj.

While making an indirect reference to Pakistan she said, “The number of threats and incidents that endanger South Asia are on the rise. Terrorism remains the single-largest threat to peace and stability in our region, and indeed in the world. It is necessary that we eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support.”

EAM Swaraj further said, “I would like to stress that meetings, including high-level ones, can only be effective if expressions of resolve are translated in to concrete action on the ground.”

However Pakistan’s foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi while accusing India of being an obstacle in regional cooperation said, “She (Swaraj) talked about regional cooperation. My question is that how is regional cooperation possible if the nations in the region are ready to sit and you are the obstacle in those talks.”

“The attitude of only one country is hampering the spirit of the SAARC,” Qureshi said.