Prime Minister Modi's call to India′s neighbours to combat the global crisis is a solid diplomatic play where all members stand to gain.
SAARC representatives huddled together at short notice to discuss and draw up blueprints for a common strategy over a video call presided over by PM Modi.
He made a statement of intent of India's reputation of being an 'enabler' by attempting to espouse the fundamentals of effective bilateral relations among members of the SAARC.
South Asia has a young population keen to engage across borders and issues and smaller nations of the SAARC stand to gain the most from this.
Effective, pragmatic and visionary statesmanship in the face of a global pandemic, tasked with the responsibility of protecting the lives and wellbeing of more than one billion citizens and shoring up an economy that is programmed to soar higher, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made an added statement of intent of India's reputation of being an 'enabler' by attempting to espouse the fundamentals of effective bilateral relations, in thought and action, among members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
The regional call for greater co-operation was based upon the attempt to fight off the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic but it was a good enough reason for Modi to remind SAARC member nations that there was no better moment for them to come together and rally around for a mutually stable and prosperous future - Pakistan included. The Indian prime minister's actions speak louder than his words. Reliability is among Modi's many positive traits and this was amply illustrated when SAARC representatives huddled together at short notice to discuss and draw up blueprints for a common strategy over a video call presided over by the Indian prime minister. It is always the first roll of the dice which sets the tone and pace of any venture and Modi outlined India's plan by proposing the creation of a COVID-19 Emergency Fund supported by contributions from member countries. India made the first offer of $10 million, available to partner nations for immediate activities. A rapid response team of doctors and specialists, propped up by testing kits and other crucial equipment, was also put before member nations to avail of as they see fit. India's largesse did not stop there. Online training modules for emergency response teams, sharing of the software behind India's Integrated Disease Surveillance Portal, to trace virus carriers and people they came into contact with, were also put on the table. A Research Platform, with every nation as a stakeholder, focused on arresting epidemics within the South Asian region, was mooted along with a scheme which would protect internal trade and its corresponding support chains.