SAARC summit postponed as 5 members pull out
PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, slated for November in Islamabad, has been postponed, a Pakistani TV channel reported on Wednesday.
The postponement came after Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal expressed their inability to attend the gathering aimed at cementing regional cooperation on different issues.
SAARC chair Nepal as saying it hoped the issues would be resolved 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.
India literally torpedoed the summit on Tuesday when it announced pulling out of the gathering over mounting tensions with Pakistan on the issue of cross-border terrorism.
Afghanistan, Bhutan , Nepal and Bangladesh followed suit, DawnNews quoted an official with the Nepali government as saying. The decision was slammed as unfortunate by Islamabad.
In a statement, the Foreign Office spokesman said it remained committed to peace and regional cooperation. He accused India of meddling in Pakistan’s internal matters.
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