In a stark contrast to Pakistan’s claims, India has been successful in isolating Pakistan.
Pakistan postponed the 19th SAARC Summit to be held in Islamabad on November 9-10 after India along with India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan – four of the eight members of the South Asian grouping decided against attending the meet.
“Pakistan deplores India’s decision to impede the SAARC process by not attending the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad on November 9 and 10,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement.
Pakistan alleged the decision by India to “derail the summit” contradicts the PM Narendra Modi’s call to fight poverty in the region.
It claimed that the spirit of the SAARC Charter is “violated” when a member state casts the shadow of its bilateral problems on the multilateral forum for regional cooperation.
“India’s decision to abstain from the Summit on the basis of unfounded assumptions on the Uri incident is a futile effort to divert attention of the world from the atrocities perpetrated by India in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir,” the statement added.
“Pakistan attaches great importance to regional cooperation under the umbrella of SAARC…Therefore, Pakistan remains committed to hosting the 19th SAARC Summit at Islamabad at the earliest so that the objectives of regional cooperation under the SAARC umbrella can be pursued more vigorously,” it said.
The Foreign Office said a new set of dates for holding of the summit in Islamabad will be announced soon, through Nepal, which is currently the SAARC Chair.
India has said “cross-border terror attacks” have created an environment that is “not conducive” for the meeting.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted:
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
“Sri Lanka regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement here. The General Provisions of the SAARC Charter require that decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity, and this applies to the convening of meetings of Heads of State or Government of SAARC Member States as well, it said in the brief statement.
The statement made no reference to the current tension between India and Pakistan, but it “condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”.
In its letter to the SAARC secretariat, Bangladesh said, “The growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016.”
Afghanistan also conveyed to the SAARC chair that “due to increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, the President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani with his responsibilities as the Commander in Chief will be fully engaged, and will not be able to attend the Summit.”