Setback for Pak, SAARC summit postponed as four countries back out


The 19th SAARC summit in November which was to be organized in Islamabad by Pakistan has been postponed.

Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Bangladesh with India decided to not participate in the SAARC summit. Four out of eight have backed out from participating in the SAARC summit – it automatically leads to the cancellation of the summit in Islamabad.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to boycott the SAARC summit in Islamabad following the Uri terror attack which left 18 soldiers dead. Othe countries also join India regarding the same expressing their concern about the terrorism.

Nepal confirmed the news after it received the message from four countries including India conveying their inability to attend the summit.

“There is no question of holding the summit if four countries declare their unwillingness to participate. As the current SAARC Chair, Nepal has the responsibility of seeking a solution to such pre-summit disputes but under the current circumstances, nothing much can be attempted. We will do the due formalities and will declare the summit of 2016 should be cancelled due to non-participation of member states,” said a Kathmandu-based diplomatic quoted by The Hindu.

Bhutan said while it is committed to the Saarc process and strengthening of regional cooperation, it is concerned over the “recent escalation of terrorism in the region, which has seriously compromised the environment for the successful holding of the 19th Saarc Summit in Islamabad in November 2016.”

The Royal government of Bhutan said that it will be unable to participate in the SAARC summit under the current circumstances.

According to media reports, Afghanistan also sent the message to the Nepal SAARC chair.

“Due to increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, H.E. the President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani with his responsibilities as the Commander in Chief will be fully engaged, and will not be able to attend the Summit,” the message said.

Bangladesh also cited its reason in a message and said it would be unable to participate in the summit hosted by Pakistan.

“Bangladesh, as the initiator of the Saarc process, remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity, and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in a more congenial atmosphere,” the message said.

It has come under notice that Sri Lanka has claimed that the summit wouldn’t be possible without the participation of India.

Pakistan has termed the boycott decision as “unfortunate”.

Read More: India set to boycott SAARC in Pak

Wefornews Bureau

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