SAARC Summit Fiasco: Nepal too joins anti-terror bandwagon
It’s official: The 19th SAARC Summit that is scheduled to be held in Islamabad on November 9-10 has been put off indefinitely. Announcing the postponement on Sunday, the current chairman of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Nepal, expressed regret over the event’s cancellation.
However, in a veiled reference to the root cause of suspending the summit, Nepal said in a statement: “To achieve peace and stability in the region, SAARC member states must, among others, ensure that their respective territories are not used by terrorists for cross border terrorism.”
Nepal’s official announcement is a mere formality. The moment India had announced its decision to not attend the regional meet over Uri terrorist attack, it was a foregone conclusion that the summit was doomed. Since SAARC constitution doesn’t allow the holding of annual summit even if one member state abstains, it is clear that Islamabad can’t go ahead with the event. With other member states pulling out one by one, citing same reasons as India has given for non-participation, Pakistan itself had announced the indefinite postponement of the regional group meeting on Friday.
Though it was done to avoid further disgrace, Pakistan blamed India for the fiasco saying, “The decision by India to derail the summit effectively contradicts Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s own call to fight against poverty in the region. India’s decision to abstain from the summit on the basis of unfounded assumptions on the Uri incident is a futile effort to divert attention of the world from the atrocities perpetrated by India in the Indian-Occupied Jammu & Kashmir.”
Ironically, the Pakistani announcement on the summit postponement was in contrast with what that country’s leaders had said when other SAARC members decided to boycott it. They said it was all propaganda and lies spread by Delhi. Will Pak leaders eat their words now?