New York (USA) | Jagran News Desk: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S Jaishankar on Friday took a dig at Pakistan and said ‘elimination of terrorism is a pre-condition’ after the latter skipped the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) meeting in New York.

“Ours is really not just a story of missed opportunities but also of deliberate obstacles. Terrorism is among them. In our view, elimination of terrorism in all its forms is a precondition not only for fruitful cooperation but also for the very survival of our region itself,” said the EAM in a Tweet.

“Regionalism has taken root in every corner of the world,” he added.

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This comes after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi boycotted Jaishankar's opening statement at the meeting of the SAARC Council of Foreign Ministers, saying his country will not engage with India "until and unless" it lifts the "siege" in Kashmir.

“Qureshi refuses to attend Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar's statement at the meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers,” said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in a Tweet.

“They must safeguard human rights of Kashmiris, ensure they are protected and not violated or trampled upon,” it added.

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SAARC is the regional grouping in Asia comprising India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

In 2016, the SAARC summit was to be held in Islamabad but after the deadly URI attack, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to "prevailing circumstances".

The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet. The Maldives and Sri Lanka are the seventh and eighth members of the initiative.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma