Singh also stressed that upholding cordial relations with its South-Asian neighbourhood is of prime importance to New Delhi, adding that the first two bilateral visits of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to Bhutan and Nepal – their Himalayan neighbours.

 

“In my address, I stressed upon India’s commitment to a stable, peaceful and prosperous South-Asian neighbourhood,” Singh wrote on his official Twitter account on Friday.

 

“The very first bilateral visits of PM Shri Modi were to our two Himalayan neighbours, with whom we have open borders and enjoy close ties,” he added.

 

“I would like to reiterate that our commitment is giving primacy to improving our relations with all our SAARC neighbours,” he further tweeted.

 

Touching on the subject of terrorism, Rajnath said that it was a matter of grave concern for the Indian government.

 

He added that India and other SAARC nations need to scrupulously observe the repercussions of the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan on the South-Asian region.

 

The Union Home Minister also said that getting justice for the victims of the noxious terrorist attacks was precedence for the ruling Indian dispensation.

 

“Terrorism is a major concern for us, which is driven by internal, regional and international factors, within and across national boundaries,” Rajnath tweeted.

 

“We need to carefully assess the impact on the entire South Asian Region of the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan,” he further wrote.

 

“Groups with radical and extremist ideologies do pose threats across national boundaries, in this volatile security environment. I would like to stress that our government is committed to securing justice for the families of the victims of deadly terrorist strikes,” he further said.

 

Singh said that India is facing several problems which have arisen from incessant drug smuggling in their border states like Punjab, adding that the SAARC nations need to together tackle this menace by implementing the  'Regional Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances'.

 

“We are facing serious problems arising from drug smuggling in States located on our borders, like Punjab,” Rajnath said.

 

“The SAARC nations need to strengthen domestic legislation & implement 'Regional Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances',” he added.

 

Singh also raked up the issue of corruption during his address, saying that the Indian government is committed towards its policy of ‘Zero Tolerance for Corruption’.

 

“Another important issue for us is corruption. We have promised our people a policy of ‘Zero Tolerance for Corruption',” Rajnath tweeted.

 

“India is a signatory to the 2005 ‘UN Convention on Corruption’. We intend to make all our laws to be in conformity with this convention,” he added.

 

Singh also put forward a plan to set up a ‘SAARC Centre for Good Governance’ where officials of member nations would exchange their experiences and viewpoints on governance.

 

“I proposed to establish a 'SAARC Centre for Good Governance' where officers from member countries would share their experiences on governance,” Singh said.

 

“I would reiterate the need for all SAARC nations to implement relevant SAARC agreements and conventions on security related issues,” he added.

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