India hindering regional cooperation, says FM Qureshi as Sushma Swaraj leaves ministers' session midway

10:12 AM | 28 Sep, 2018
India hindering regional cooperation, says FM Qureshi as Sushma Swaraj leaves ministers' session midway
NEW YORK - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has accused India of being an obstacle in promoting regional cooperation through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a body established to bring prosperity to the peoples of the region.

"The attitude of only one country is hindering the spirit and objectives of the SAARC," he told reporters after participating in an informal meeting of SAARC's Council of Ministers held on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly taking place in New York.

Asked whether he spoke to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj at the meeting, the Pakistani foreign minister replied in the negative.

"She left the meeting midway. Maybe she was not feeling well, she (Swaraj) talked about regional cooperation at the meeting. My question is that how is regional cooperation possible if the nations in the region are ready to sit down and you are the obstacle in those talks," he asked.

Qureshi said the SAARC has not been able to set a date for its next summit to gear the organization towards implementing initiatives aimed at the betterment of the people of the region. India was resisting the holding of summit until there was, what it called, a "conducive environment". "Now who would decide what 'conducive environment' means-- it has a different meaning for different people," he said.

In his formal statement at the meeting, the foreign minister said, "Pakistan remains ready to hold the SAARC summit, at any date agreed to by the SAARC member states.

Talking to reporters, Qureshi said unless we meet and talk, how can we make any progress.

Pakistan, the foreign minister said, wants SAARC to make substantive progress and turn it into a"result-oriented" body.

"If we want to gain something from this forum, we have to move forward. The way to move forward is to decide the next meeting. I have no hesitation to say that the attitude of one country is blocking the progress of SAARC. One country is not letting SAARC function", he added.

Asked whether the issue of terrorism was raised by Afghanistan and Bangladesh at the meeting, FM Qureshi said that they did not.

The remarks came days after cancellation by India of the proposed talks between Indian and Pakistani foreign ministers in New York.

Earlier, speaking at the SAARC meeting, the foreign minister reiterated Pakistan's commitment to SAARC's principles and objectives and highlighted the Organization's potential for promoting progress and prosperity in South Asia.

He stressed that Pakistan considered SAARC an important platform for organizing a collective response to regional challenges, particularly the region's development needs.

The Foreign Minister emphasized that one country was holding the 1.7 billion people of South Asia hostage while making vague statements and unsubstantiated, whimsical allegations. The SAARC summit has already been delayed by two years, with no end in sight.

Pakistan, he said, continued to insist that there was no alternative to communication, engagement and dialogue, and the attempt to scuttle the SAARC process was actually the major impediment in ensuring the prosperity, eliminating poverty and instituting development for the peoples of the region.

He also pointed out that there was a general positivity within the rest of the membership to move forward on the holding of the summit, but one country was unnecessarily enacting hurdles and obstacles for its narrow gains.

The writer is a civil servant.


Today Currency Rates in Pakistan - Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, Riyal - 24 July 2024

Pakistani rupee rates against US Dollar and other currencies on July 24, 2024 (Wednesday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 278.4 for buying and 280.1 for selling. Euro's buying rate remains stable at 301.35 and selling rate is 303.45.

British Pound rate is 354.5 for buying, and 358.35 for selling. UAE Dirham AED was at 76.5 and Saudi Riyal hovered at 73.6.

Currency Rates Today

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 278.4  280.1 
Euro EUR 301.35 303.45
UK Pound Sterling GBP 354.5 358.35
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.5  77.25
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.60 74.32
Australian Dollar AUD 184.75 186.55
Bahrain Dinar BHD 741.15 749.15
Canadian Dollar CAD 203.50 205.50
China Yuan CNY 38.35 38.75
Danish Krone DKK 40.05 40.45
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.70 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 36.05 36.05
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.25 917.35
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.95 59.75
New Zealand Dollar NZD 169.24 171.24
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.04 26.34
Omani Riyal OMR 722.87 730.89
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.39 77.09
Singapore Dollar SGD 202.00 204.00
Swedish Korona SEK 26.40 26.70
Swiss Franc CHF 309.05 311.55
Thai Bhat THB 7.50 7.65


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