Home » World News » SAARC: Chair Nepal seeks new venue for summit as 4 member nations boycott Pakistan

SAARC: Chair Nepal seeks new venue for summit as 4 member nations boycott Pakistan

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 11 February 2017, 5:46 IST

Nepal, that currently chairs the SAARC, has sought a new venue for the annual summit in November after a number of member countries decided to boycott the meeting in Islamabad.

The annual Saarc summit scheduled to be hosted by Islamabad in November has been boycotted by Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan and of course India, hinting towards virtual isolation of Pakistan following the heated situation between India and Pakistan.

"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 (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation) Summit in Islamabad," sources quoted Bangladesh as saying in a message to current Saarc chair Nepal on 27 September.

According to the Times of India, Bhutan said that it was concerned over 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." It added that it was committed to the Saarc process and strengthening of regional cooperation.

"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 on 27 September.

According to the report, Afghanistan has sent a communication to the Saarc chair Nepal. "Due to increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, H.E. 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," the message said.

Sri Lanka reportedly has said that the Saarc summit would not be possible without India's participation.

India announced on 27 September that it was pulling out of the Islamabad summit after the 18 September attack on an Indian Army base in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 18 soldiers.

Pakistan has termed the boycott decision as "unfortunate".

The US has also said that it was pressurising Pakistan to act against terror safe havens within its borders.

First published: 28 September 2016, 2:22 IST