New Delhi, Sep 30: The 19th session of the SAARC summit hosted by Pakistan has been officially postponed. Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that the SAARC summit has been called off. The 19th session of the SAARC summit was scheduled to take place on 9 November in Islamabad. While confirming that new dates will be decided soon to hold 19th session of the SAARC summit, Pakistan held India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the collapse of the SAARC conference.
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“A new set of dates for holding of the 19th SAARC Summit at Islamabad will be announced soon,” said Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Five members of the eight-member South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation have pulled out of the summit. Afghanistan, bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have joined India in boycotting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November citing incitement of terrorism in the region as the reason. (ALSO READ: War scare: Pakistan army issues high alert after surgical strikes by India, conducts navy, aerial exercise) Also Read - Pakistan Court Sends 3 Accused To Jail in Forced Conversion Case
Holding India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for cancellation of SAARC summit, Pakistan said, “Decision by India to derail summit effectively contradicts Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s own call to fight against poverty in the region.” PM Narendra Modi, in his first public speech after Uri attacks in which 19 soldiers were killed, asked Pakistan to wag a war together against poverty. Nepal, the present Chair of the Saarc, said on Friday that the summit of the South Asian regional grouping cannot take place if even one member country notifies its inability to participate in the event. Also Read - Suspected Militants Lob Grenade at CRPF Party In Srinagar’s Rainawari Area, No Casualty Reported
Pakistan is the rotational host (in alphabetical order) of the upcoming summit whose future is hanging in balance after four countries pulled out their participation from the summit as tension arises at India-Pakistan border. India 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.
In a statement on Tuesday, 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. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said 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.