External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar raised the issue of cross-border terrorism at the informal Saarc meeting on Thursday

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar raised the issue of cross-border terrorism at the informal SAARC meeting on Thursday. The EAM said further said that without addressing it will be impossible to see enduring peace, prosperity and security in the South Asia region.

Calling for greater collective efforts to counter terrorism and its sponsors, the EAM, in a tweet wrote, “Cross-border terrorism, blocking connectivity and obstructing trade are three key challenges that SAARC must overcome. Only then will we see enduring peace, prosperity and security in our South Asia region.”

The EAM also underlined India’s commitment to a pluralistic cooperative security order in Asia through CICA.

'Greater Collective Efforts To Counter Terrorism And Its Sponsors'

Reaffirming India’s support for the Afghan peace process, the EAM said it must respect its national sovereignty and territorial integrity and preserves its democratic progress.

Highlighting India’s support for SAARC neighbours, Jaishankar said that India extended USD 150 million foreign currency swap support to the Maldives, currency swap support of USD 200 million to Bhutan and USD 400 million to Sri Lanka during the course of this year.

The SAARC summit was stalled after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists attacked a military base in Jammu and Kashmir's Uri, which killed 19 soldiers. Pakistan was to host the summit in 2016 but India decided to boycott the meeting following the Uri attack.

'Cross-Border Terrorism Key Challenge That SAARC Must Overcome'

After India decided to exit the summit to step up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan other countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan, also walked out.

India has repeatedly called on Pakistan to take stringent steps to combat terror saying that terror and talks do not go together.

On March 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with SAARC leaders, in which he initiated a COVID-19 emergency fund for the regional bloc with an initial offer of USD 10 million for the fund.

All the other SAARC members donated to the COVID-19 emergency fund except Pakistan, which was the last country from the bloc to contribute to the COVID-19 emergency fund.