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India believes peaceful and secure neighbourhood will yield “rich dividends” for SAARC

India today said it firmly believes that a peaceful and secure neighbourhood will yield “rich dividends” for SAARC countries even as it asserted that time has come to take stock of past decisions of the grouping on which there has been no movement.

In his statement during the 42nd SAARC Standing Committee Meeting here, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said India is pursuing with renewed vigour its “neighbourhood first” policy which also translates into priority for SAARC initiatives.

“We believe that there is scope for further rationalisation of SAARC processes. Perhaps the time has come for us to also take stock of past decisions and initiatives, given that there are so many instances of such decisions not seeing any movement for many years,” Jaishankar, who arrived here on Monday, said.

“We are firmly of the belief that a peaceful, secure and prosperous neighbourhood will yield rich dividends for all of us,” he said.

Noting that the grouping has some useful agreements in the area of security, including the Convention on Terrorism, Narcotic Drugs and on Human Trafficking, Jaishankar said a major challenge that the region faces is that of circulation of fake currency notes.

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