Uri attack impact on Pakistan: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan pull out of SAARC summit

By: | Updated: September 29, 2016 7:17 AM

On Wednesday, member countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan joined India in boycotting the 19th South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit scheduled to be held in November in Islamabad.

Under the constitution of the Saarc, a summit cannot take place even if one of the eight members withdraws. What is unprecedented is that four member states have cited “terrorism” and “imposed violence” while withdrawing from the summit.(zameer36.com)Under the constitution of the Saarc, a summit cannot take place even if one of the eight members withdraws. What is unprecedented is that four member states have cited “terrorism” and “imposed violence” while withdrawing from the summit.(zameer36.com)

On Wednesday, member countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan joined India in boycotting the 19th South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit scheduled to be held in November in Islamabad.

Under the constitution of the Saarc, a summit cannot take place even if one of the eight members withdraws. What is unprecedented is that four member states have cited “terrorism” and “imposed violence” while withdrawing from the summit.

Sources quoted Kabul as saying in a message to Saarc chair Nepal, “Due to increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, 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.”

On Tuesday, in a statement, India said increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of Saarc member-states “by one country” have created an environment that was not conducive to the successful holding of the 19th Saarc summit.

Official spokesperson of the MEA Vikas Swarup said that India has conveyed to current Saarc chair Nepal its decision not to attend the summit, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to go.

“India remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror. In the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed summit in Islamabad,” he said in the statement.

In a similar message to the Saarc chair, Bangladesh too has 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.”

“Bangladesh, as the initiator of the Saarc process, remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in a more congenial atmosphere,” the communication from Bangladesh said. It added, “In view of the above, Bangladesh is unable to participate in the proposed summit in Islamabad.”

According to a message from Bhutan addressed to the Saarc chair, while reaffirming its strong commitment to the Saarc process and strengthening of regional cooperation, it noted “the concern of the Royal Government of Bhutan on the recent escalation of terrorism in the region, which has seriously compromised the environment for the successful holding of the 19th Saarc Summit in Islamabad in November 2016”.

“Further, the Royal Government of Bhutan shares the concerns of some of the member countries of Saarc on the deterioration of regional peace and security due to terrorism and joins them in conveying our inability to participate in the Saarc Summit, under the current circumstances,” the message from Thimpu said. Sri Lanka is learned to have said the event wouldn’t be possible without India’s participation.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Switch to Hindi Edition