Saarc secretary general discusses regional cooperation on 5-day India visit – Hindustan Times

3 minutes, 2 seconds Read

Saarc has been largely moribund since India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan decided to skip the bloc’s summit in Islamabad in 2016

NEW DELHI: The secretary general of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), Mohammad Golam Sarwar, has met senior Indian officials to discuss the status of regional cooperation and assess the working of institutions under the grouping.

Golam Sarwar’s interactions with Indian authorities focused on various issues of regional cooperation within Saarc, the external affairs ministry said in a statement (X/MEAIndia)

Sarwar, who began a five-day visit to India on May 11, met Jaideep Mazumder, secretary (East) of the ministry of external affairs, on Wednesday. Sarwar also met foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra and minister of state for external affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh during the visit.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India’s general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

This was the first official visit by the senior Bangladeshi diplomat to any of the member states of Saarc after his appointment as Saarc secretary general in July 2023.

Saarc includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Sarwar’s interactions with Indian authorities focused on various issues of regional cooperation within Saarc, the external affairs ministry said in a statement. “During the discussions, India reiterated its commitment towards regional cooperation for growth and prosperity of the people of South Asia through Saarc,” it said.

“It was also underlined that India considers Saarc as an important regional association for cooperation in South Asia and has been taking several efforts and initiatives to bring the peoples of South Asia closer to each other,” it added.

On Tuesday, Sarwar visited the South Asian University (SAU), an international university established by the eight members of Saarc that is hosted by India in New Delhi, and discussed issues concerning the institution. Sarwar met SAU president KK Aggarwal, who briefed him about the work of the varsity, new programmes introduced by it and avenues for future development.

Sarwar noted that SAU is “one of the most successful flagship endeavours” of Saarc, and expressed gratitude to the Indian government for the support provided to the university. He also highlighted the institution’s role in imparting quality education and promoting cooperation among students from across the region.

Saarc has been largely moribund since India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan decided to skip the bloc’s summit in Islamabad in 2016 over concerns related to cross-border terrorism and interference in the internal affairs of member states by Pakistan. Under the Saarc charter, all decisions must be made by unanimity and the postponement of the summit led to the stalling of all work done by the bloc.

Since then, India has focused on bolstering cooperation with countries in South Asia through other groupings such as Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) and Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN).

Tell us what your First Vote will stand for in a short video & get a chance to be featured on HT’s social media handles. Click here to know more!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Lok sabha election Live , Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.

Share this article

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Rezaul H Laskar is the Foreign Affairs Editor at Hindustan Times. His interests include movies and music.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title this site

Similar Posts