30 July, 2021

Guards At Their Stations

Modi engages SAARC leaders on anti-coronavirus strategy

PM Modi with heads of state of SAARC countries at the video conference
Guards At Their Stations

Despite sharing a close geographical and culture space, South Asian neighbours seldom rise above petty rivalries to unite against a common challenge. The trend was broken on March 15 when Narendra Modi took the initiative of bringing together leaders and representatives of the eight-member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to develop a common strategy to deal with the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. At a time of global calls for segregation, Modi’s attempt to bring together countries with problematic, if not hostile, ties was seen as a constructive move in the midst of a confusing and panic- stricken atmosphere.

“We are very heartened when we see this,” World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesperson Margaret Harris told CNN-News 18 TV. She added, “This strong regional initiative is a very positive and welcome step”. Praises for the Indian effort also came from the US and Russia. There are now talks of using the SAARC example among G20 countries.

In the video conference with the SAARC leaders to exchange views and...

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