19th Saarc Summit in Pakistan called off

Photo related to SAARC Summit.

Kathmandu: After four of the eight members of the South Asian groups India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan have decided not to participate in the 19th Saarc Summit in Islamabad, the summit has been to be postponed which is scheduled to be held in November.

Sources in Nepal, the current Chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, confirmed having received messages from the four countries conveying their inability to attend the summit due in Islamabad on November 9-10.

The formal announcement of the postponement will be made later by the Kathmandu-based Saarc Secretariat.

With the Saarc process based on consensus, even if one member does not attend the summit is automatically postponed or cancelled.

However, a final decision rests on the current Saarc Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa, who is currently in New York and will return in two days.

“We will make our position public soon,” said a senior Nepal foreign ministry official, adding that as the Foreign Minister is travelling to the US to attend the UNGA, it will take some days for Nepal to come up with its position.

After India decided not to attend the summit in Pakistan, it is now Sri Lanka has already said that the Saarc Summit would not be possible without India’s participation.

On Tuesday India announced that it was pulling out of the Islamabad summit in the wake of the September 18 cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army base in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir.

India has blamed that there is a hand of some terrorists based in Pakistan in the Uri army camp attack.