SAARC summit uncertain as Delhi pulls out

Diplomatic Correspondent

The 19th SAARC summit scheduled for November in Islamabad has become uncertain as India has already pulled out of participation in the summit.
‘India has conveyed to current SAARC chair Nepal 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 to the successful holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016,’ Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a tweet on Tuesday night.
‘In the prevailing circumstances, the government of India is unable to participate in the proposed summit in Islamabad,’ he said.
India was accusing Pakistan of recent terror attacks on Indian army camps in Uri.
Diplomatic sources in Dhaka and the SAARC secretariat in Kathmandu said that Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh had given indication that would also express inability to join the summit.
Bangladesh government was also accusing Pakistan of interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs over execution of 1971 war crimes convicts.
According to the SAARC charter, presence of all the heads of the governments or heads of the states of the member countries is mandatory for holding the summit.
The SAARC secretariat would need to make a formal announcement for rescheduling of the 19th summit.
Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal are also members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation established in 1985.
The last SAARC summit was held in Nepal in 2014.

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