SAARC Summit Postponed as India Pull Out

Islamabad – SAARC summit was scheduled to be held in November in Islamabad, but it became uncertain after India pulled out in snub to Pakistan. In post Uri attack and recent development in Kashmir, India and Pakistan raising tension have caused damage on this upcoming regional summit to be postponed.

SAARC chair Nepal as saying it hoped the issues would be sorted diplomatically but could not comment on whether the summit would go ahead as planned. “The host will take decisions regarding the summit,” said Jhabindra Aryal, joint secretary of Nepal’s foreign ministry.

Under the charter of the eight-member grouping, any SAARC conference can be put off if any member state declines to participate.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry said it has written to Nepal, the current chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, that “increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of Member States by one country” have created an environment that is “not conducive” for a successful summit.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan have also expressed their “inability” to attend the SAARC summit, a senior foreign ministry official in Nepal said.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M. Shahriar Alam gave no reason for Bangladesh’s decision other than his country’s “domestic engagements.”

Diplomatic tensions between Bangladesh and Pakistan have escalated in recent years, with each government summoning the other’s top diplomat over Bangladesh’s execution of people convicted of involvement in its 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.

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