Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing the 12th South Asia conference in New Delhi on Monday. (Photo/ANI)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh addressing the 12th South Asia conference in New Delhi on Monday. (Photo/ANI)

Full potential of SAARC not utilised due to policies of 'single country': Rajnath

ANI | Updated: Jan 28, 2020 15:01 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 28 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the full potential of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was not utilised because of the behaviour and policies of a single country, in a reference to Pakistan.
"The full potential of SAARC has not been realised due to the behaviour and policies of a single country," Singh said at the 12th South Asia conference here.
In order to substantiate his claim, Singh cited how "a single country" stalled the SAARC motor vehicles agreement at the last Kathmandu session in 2015.
He emphasised that regional civil societies can influence governments through their proactive efforts.
Underlying that South Asia is at a critical juncture of history, the Union Minister said: "We should not hold regional prosperity hostage to the interests of states who are obstructing all efforts aimed at regional cooperation. Our intra-regional trade has been abysmally low. We have to transcend these limitations."
He said that the theme of this year's South Asia conference, 'India's 'Neighbourhood First' Policy: Regional Perceptions' is timely.
The conference deals with a number of important issues, such as economic cooperation for development, changing political context in India's neighbourhood, common challenges of terrorism in South Asia and prospects of regional cooperation. (ANI)

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