New Delhi, Jul 9: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today warned the cancer of terrorism would consume South Asia if left unchecked and pressed all countries to develop a culture of resolving problems themselves, a comment seen as directed at Pakistan.
“The scourge of terrorism has taken a huge toll on all our societies. It is a cancer that if not checked, will consume us all,” Singh said inaugurating the 5th Conference of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians.
He said South Asia cannot realise its full potential until and unless the region solves its differences peacefully and develops the culture of solving their problems themselves.
“Others cannot solve our problems for us,” he told the gathering of Speakers and MPs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, the Maldives and Nepal.
India has been pressing Pakistan that the differences plaguing them should be resolved bilaterally. Pakistan has been off and on seeking US intervention is issues with India, particularly on Kashmir.
Noting that South Asia was home to the most youthful population, Singh said the region can reap rich demographic dividend if it can equip them with the right skills, make them employable and channel their energies to productive ends.
“Disaffection and alienation provide a fertile breeding ground for intolerance, violence and terrorism which then threaten our societies and rupture the social fabric,” he said.
He said South Asia cannot afford to copy western lifestyles and the region has to tap its own genius to develop models of growth that correspond to its resource endowments and yet enable banish the scourge of poverty. PTI