18th SAARC Summit begins, PM Modi remembers 26/11 Mumbai Attacks

Kathmandu, Nov 26: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his expectation to build better relations among the SAARC nations laying emphasis on cooperation and infrastructure development.

Addressing the 18th Summit in Kathmandu on Wednesday, PM Modi remembered 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that had shaken the entire country. He said that India can never forget the day when its commercial hub was targeted that left hundreds dead and several wounded.

Hitting out at the extremism that creates panic and fear among common citizens, he wished all the nations should fight together to root out the forces. He said that all the South Asian countries face the same challenge i.e terrorism and climate change, and these should be eliminated and resolved with the cooperation of all and dedication.

Apart from it, Modi stressed on infrastructure development saying it as the greatest priority in India. He not only dreams development for India, but wishes the same for the entire South Asia countries. He left a mark at the event by saying, "The future I dream for India is the future I wish for the entire South Asia".

Modi in his maiden speech at the Saarc summit drew the attention of all by expressing his visions with an aim to revitalize the regional group and make it a major platform to fuel economic growth and combat the challenges like terrorism and climate change effectively. However, the speculations are still making rounds over the meeting between Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif, who did not say anything about terrorism in his address, rather talked about his vision for South Asia to fight poverty and malnutrition. "My vision is for South Asia is that instead of fighting each other, we must jointly fight poverty, malnutrition", he said. His speech is being viewed as a peace message to India.

The 18th Saarc summit commenced in Kathmandu where the leaders of the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries are meeting for the first time since the election of a new Indian government that is eager to avoid losing influence to rival power China.

As chair of Saarc, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul opened the summit and handed over the responsibility of the chair of the regional bloc to Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.

This is the third time Nepal is organising the summit - first in 1987 and then again in 2002.

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