New Delhi: With Pakistan announcing on Friday that Saarc Summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November has been cancelled, India said that its South Asian neighbour has been compelled to recognise regional sentiment against terrorism.
“We note Pakistan’s decision 2 postpone SAARC Summit. They’ve been compelled 2 recognise the regional sentiment against terrorism,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Earlier, a statement from the Pakistan Foreign Office, announcing the cancellation, said that “the spirit of the Saarc Charter is violated when a member state casts the shadow of its bilateral problems on the multilateral forum for regional cooperation”.
“Pakistan attaches great importance to regional cooperation under the umbrella of Saarc and remains committed to hosting the 19th Saarc Summit at Islamabad at the earliest,” it added.
In the wake of September 18 cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 19 soldiers, India decided not to participate in the Summit, which was followed by the boycott of Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Bangaladesh. On Friday, Sri Lanka too expressed its reservations.
The statement also said that Pakistan deplored India’s decision to impede the Saarc process by not attending it, which was slated for November 9-10.
“The decision by India to derail the Summit effectively contradicts Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s own call to fight against poverty in the region,” it said, adding that a new set of dates for holding of the Summit in Islamabad will be announced soon, through the Chair of Saarc Nepal.
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