India and World – South Asia
any visualisation of India’s global role must begin in our immediate neighbourhood, because situational factors in that environment affect our internal security and therefore merit our greatest attention.
A peaceful neighbourhood, let me add, is mandatory for realisation of our own vision of economic growth.
We have made unilateral gestures and extended economic concessions such as the facility of duty-free access to the Indian market for imports from Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. We have made proposals multilaterally within the framework of SAARC – the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation – where we have assumed asymmetric responsibilities. However, our vision of enhanced South Asian Cooperation for development is challenged, I will be frank, by violent extremism and terrorism, which originates in our region and finds sustenance and sanctuaries there.