New Delhi: The SAARC countries have a zero sum policy towards each other and it is high time the nations changed the status quo to a win win policy for all, said Mohammad Abdali, the Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to India.
The Ambassador was speaking at the SAU Distinguished Lecture series in the South Asian University, chaired by Dr. Kavita Sharma, President of the university.
He said the nations have to grow together as no nation can achieve development without shaking hands with its neighbours. The region has a golden opportunity to move fast to achieve its goals but without peace it cannot move forward at the desired pace, he said.
Ambassador Abdali advocated for constructive partnerships and collective prosperity. He opined that the nations should go for economic tie-ups and consider taking up joint projects in areas like energy.
Sharing his opinion about the region, he said South Asia has abundance of everything from human resources to natural resources, and can develop like any prosperous region in the world.
Ambassador Abdali also illustrated how Afghanistan has grown socially and economically over the last 14 years. He said the narratives of Afghanistan should change in sync with the ground reality.
Ambassador Abdali, who has also held such distinguished posts as Deputy National Security Advisor and Special Assistant to former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, further said the South Asian nations need to create inter-dependency for one another to break down the indifference that the nations have for one another.
In the event attended mostly by scholars of SAU hailing from various parts of South Asia, he said the people of the region can no longer stay isolated from one another and afford not to have regional consciousness. Institutions have a great role to play and scholars can help in bringing the region forward he added. Talking about the South Asian University, Ambassador Abdali said SAU is place where future leaders of the region are groomed and possible tie-ups with universities in Afghanistan should be explored.