- Pakistan alleged that India’s “short-sighted approach” was rapidly crippling this valuable forum of regional cooperation.
- SAARC is a regional organization consisting of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that India’s obstructing the SAARC process is an established fact.
Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday blamed India for obstructing the SAARC process and alleged that its “short-sighted attitude” was rapidly crippling this valuable forum of regional cooperation. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional organization comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The organization has not been very influential since 2016 and has not held any conference since the biennial summit in Kathmandu in 2014.
‘India can join the meeting online’
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that India’s obstructing the SAARC process is an established fact. India on Thursday said that there was no “concrete change” in the situation so that the stalled SAARC summit could be held. Earlier, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Monday that Islamabad is ready to host the summit and if India does not want to participate in person, it can attend it online.
Iftikhar calls Bagchi’s statement a lie
On Qureshi’s statement, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday, “We have seen media reports regarding the comments of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan regarding the SAARC summit.” You are aware of the background as to why the SAARC summit has not been held since 2014. There has been no tangible change in the situation since then. So, there is still no consensus, which allows the summit to be held. Iftikhar dismissed Bagchi’s statement as a lie.
India had expressed its inability to participate in the conference.
Iftikhar said in a statement that India had disrupted the 19th SAARC summit to be held in Pakistan in 2016 due to its partisan reasons and in violation of the charter provisions. The 2016 SAARC summit was originally scheduled to be held in Islamabad on 15–19 November, but following the terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir on 18 September that year, India declined to attend the summit. expressed his inability.
‘India is crippling the valuable platform’
Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also refused to participate in the conference in Islamabad, following which the conference was called off. Iftikhar said India’s “short-sighted attitude” is rapidly crippling this valuable forum of regional cooperation. (Language)