“In the prevailing circumstances, the government of India is unable to participate in the proposed South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad,” ministry of external affairs(MEA) said in a statement.
The 19th SAARC summit is scheduled to be held in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad from November 9 to 10, 2016.
“We also understand that some other SAARC states have also conveyed their reservation about attending the summit in November 2016,” the MEA said.
Regional cooperation and terror don’t go together. India pulls out of SAARC Summit in Islamabad pic.twitter.com/jabKoaBegJ — Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 27, 2016
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Regional cooperation and terror don’t go together. India pulls out of SAARC Summit in Islamabad pic.twitter.com/jabKoaBegJ
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 27, 2016
The MEA also said that India has conveyed to current SAARC chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in internal affairs of member states by one country have created an environment that is not conducive to successful holding of summit in Islamabad.
On September 20, Afghanistan supported India’s stance. The country’s ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali had said: “I am sure most South Asian countries are in line with what we think. Therefore, the effort should be comprehensive and we should single out a country that spoils our unity and regional peace.”