India on 27 November 2014 offered polio vaccine for SAARC countries which would mean Pakistan and Afghanistan. The offer was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu.
The PM also committed a large number of deliverables from India for the SAARC region. These are
• To set up a Special Purpose Facility to finance infrastructure projects in SAARC region to enhance the connectivity and trade.
• To upgrade border facilities and push for common standards between SAARC countries.
• To give business visa for 3-5 years for SAARC countries and will issue SAARC Business Traveller Card.
• To set up a power trading facility in the region through which electricity can be traded as a commodity.
• To put in extra funds to establish the SAARC Regional Supra Reference Laboratory for TB and HIV.
• To sell the pentavalent vaccine to other South Asian countries and has promised quick delivery medical visas.
The offers made by India is an attempt to shred the image of Big Brother in South Asia and project itself as a responsive regional power, a country willing to assist its SAARC neighbours, whatever their challenges. Further, Modi tries to inject the momentum into attempts at South Asian synergy.
Moreover, the offer of polio vaccine to SAARC member countries though has been welcomed by Afghanistan but has put Pakistan in bind.
Where: South Asian Region
When: 27 November 2014
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