Not Possible To Go Ahead With South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation SAARC Under Current Circumstances, Says India

The last SAARC Summit was held in 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal and was attended by PM Modi

New Delhi:  Citing continuing support to cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, India on Saturday said it was difficult to proceed with the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) initiative under current circumstances.

The issue of organising the SAARC Summit came up for discussion during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli, who is in India on a three-day visit.

“The Prime Minister (Modi) mentioned that he very enthusiastically participated in the Kathmandu (SAARC) summit, but given the current state of play where there is cross-border terrorism – and this is a disruptive force in the region, it is difficult in such circumstances to proceed with such initiatives,” Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters.

SAARC Summits are usually held biennially and are hosted by a member state in alphabetical order. The member state hosting the summit assumes the Chair of the Association.

The last SAARC Summit in 2014 was held in Kathmandu, which was attended by PM Modi.

The 2016 SAARC Summit was to be held in Islamabad.

But after the terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18 that year, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to “prevailing circumstances” and stepped up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. 19 Indian soldiers had died in the…

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