Delhi: India on Monday warned Pakistan that South Asian nations would find other ways to cooperate on regional initiatives if it continues to block initiatives under the SAARC banner.
As per a report in The Times of India, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar also presented a snapshot of what a 'SAARC without Pakistan' could achieve.
Jaishankar, without naming Pakistan, was quoted as saying by the media house - "Problem with SAARC is that some basic sort of standards of regional cooperation have to apply. If you say that I will be regional member but I will not allow regional trade, I will not allow regional connectivity, will not allow regional motor ways, I will not allow regional railways, then what is it about."
He added, "You cannot be a member of a region and block every possible regional initiative and still say I am good member. That sort of approach has to change."
The Foreign Secretary also indicated that if South Asian countries found their initiatives blocked under the SAARC banner, they would look to other regional groupings like the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
At the same time, he buttressed speculations over a 'SAARC without Pakistan' and said that India was prepared for cooperation on regional connectivity projects.