New Delhi: India to boycott SAARC meeting in Islamabad, says ‘talks not possible under prevailing tensions’.
Some other SAARC members have also conveyed their reservation about attending SAARC meet in Pakistan. Other countries which may not attend SAARC Summit are Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan. India on Tuesday pulled out of the Saarc Summit to be held in Pakistan in November, citing cross-border terrorism and “growing interference” in the internal affairs of members by one country.
The move came against the backdrop of a spike in tensions between India and Pakistan over the terror attack on an army camp at Uri that killed 18 soldiers. India responded to the strike with a campaign aimed at isolating Pakistan on international stage. External affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said India had informed current Saarc chair Nepal that “increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of member states by one country have created an environment that is not conducive to the successful holding” of the summit in Islamabad.
Swarup added, “We also understand that some other Saarc member states have also conveyed their reservation about attending the Islamabad summit in November 2016.”
He said India would be unable to participate in the summit in the “prevailing circumstances”.
Though Swarup did not name the country accused of interfering in the affairs of Saarc members, it was clear India was pointing to Pakistan.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj accused Pakistan of responding to India’s peace overtures with a string of terror attacks and the export of terrorism.
Saarc members Afghanistan and Bangladesh too have criticized Pakistan on the issue of terrorism.