It’s time for South Asia: Pitching SAARC into higher orbit

It’s a gloriously sunny day, the kind of weather that should stimulate imagination and inspire some out-of-box thinking in leaders of South Asian countries, who will gather in the Nepali capital to invigorate a 29-year old regional grouping that is still itching to take off.
The summitry atmospherics can be felt everywhere in Kathmandu, with colorful banners proclaiming the tag line of the 18th SAARC summit: “Deeper Integration for Peace, Progress and Prosperity.” The theme song encapsulates in a miniature the abiding mastertheme of the November 28-29 summit, and the driving impulse of the SAARC process itself. And rightly so.
In a way, All eyes will be on Mr Modi’s SAARC debut and his vision for raising the bar for the SAARC dream. Home to vibrant and emerging democracies, growing economies, and home to 1.7 billion people and major religions of the world, South Asia has all the makings of a regional dynamo itching for its place under the global sun. It’s time for the leaders of the region to put a stop to endless visions and revisions and take firm and decisive steps to pitch the SAARC into a higher trajectory.

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Obama declares war on IS militants: India, US to step up counter-terror cooperation

US President Barack Obama’s declaration of war on The Islamic State, the terrorist machine’s network of death that has unleashed mayhem in the Middle East, should be noted positively by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be looking to step up counter-terror cooperation during his summit meeting with the American president.

Amid the roiling ferment in the Middle East, the region that is pivotal to India’s energy security and is home to over 7 million Indians, intensifying counter-terror cooperation with the US will be high on the agenda when Mr Modi meets Mr Obama for full-spectrum talks in Washington on September 30.

The volatile situation in the AfPak region against the backdrop of the conflicted transition process in Afghanistan will add a trenchant element to counter-terror discussions that the two leaders are expected to have in Washington.

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Al Qaeda delusional, Indian Muslims will live & die for India: Modi

In an unambiguous response to extremist Islamic organisations seeking recruits from India, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his belief that Indian Muslims will live and die for India, and stressed that Al Qaeda is “delusional” if it thinks they will join its barbaric campaign for global jihad.

“My understanding is that they are doing injustice to the Muslims of our country. If anyone thinks Indian Muslims will dance to their tune, they are delusional. Indian Muslims will live for India, they will die for India — they will not want anything bad for India,” said Modi in an interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

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