New Delhi, September 23: There may be no SAARC summit this year as well as India and Pakistan’s relationship continue to be go down south. A media report said that no move has been taken by member countries to hold the annual event, held normally in the month of November. Also Read - China Pakistan Economic Corridor: When China Invested in Pakistan, They Did The Math
The Times of India wrote in its report that India’s disinterest in holding the SAARC summit was evident when Indian representatives met their South-Asian counterparts at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session. Also Read - Protesters Raise Placards of PM Modi, Other World Leaders at Pro-freedom Rally in Pakistan's Sindh
External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj didn’t out-rightly dismiss the possibility of the event this year, but she said that regional cooperation was only possible when it could take place in an atmosphere of peace and security. She said that peace in the South-Asian region was at serious risk; hence it was imperative to”eliminate the scourge of terrorism in all its forms, without any discrimination, and end the ecosystem of its support.” Also Read - China Pakistan Economic Corridor: Where CPEC Stands Now?
With the ecosystem of the support of terrorism, Sushma Swaraj meant Pakistan’s tacit support to terror groups. Last year, the SAARC summit had to be cancelled when three important nations–India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan– had pulled out citing Pakistan’s open support for terrorism as the main reason. The SAARC summit was in Islamabad in 2016.
The External Affairs minister further said that SAARC failed in its objectives as South Asia remained one of the least connected regions in the absence of any trade agreement.
Nepal, which holds the chair currently, is trying to find a solution to this problem, so that the summit could be held in 2018. However, since Pakistan goes to election next year, it might not be an easy task to hold the SAARC summit.
India, meanwhile, will continue to press Pakistan’s sponsorship of terror as the reason for its disinterest in SAARC. In the UNGA session, India said a few bitter words, dubbing Pakistan as ‘terroristan’.