Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saarc summit postponed after member states pull out, reports Pakistani media

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit scheduled to take place in Islamabad in November has been postponed, according to Pakistani media.

Geo TV and DawnNews have reported that the scheduled summit has been postponed after India and three other countries announced their decision to pull out.

The Geo TV report quotes adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz as saying that "chances were that the Saarc conference would be postponed, though the Saarc secretariat has not yet informed officially about the postponement."

Sartaj Aziz said even if one of the member pulls out, the conference cannot go on as per schedule, Geo TV reported. The foreign adviser said whenever the conference takes place, it will be held in Pakistan.
As per the Saarc charter, a formal announcement about the fate of the summit will be made by Nepal, which is the co-chair of the summit.

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

The announcement came hours after foreign secretary S Jaishankar summoned Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit and revealed to him that one of the slain terrorists in the Uri attack, and 2 other men who helped the terrorists cross the LoC, were all from Muzaffarabad in PoK.

Subsequently, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also pulled out of the summit citing their own reasons.

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