PM Modi to skip SAARC summit in Islamabad, Pakistan calls it ‘unfortunate’

NEW DELHI: As widely expected, India has decided to skip the SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November. MEA on Tuesday conveyed its decision to the SAARC Chair. The decision comes shortly after heightened tension between India and Pakistan post- Uri attack where 18 jawans were killed. According to ANI, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan may also skip the regional summit.

MEA has conveyed in its message that, ” In the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad.” India conveyed to current SAARC Chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in internal affairs of Member States by one country created environment that’s not conducive to successful holding of summit in Islamabad

MEA also said, “India remains steadfast in commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity but believes that it can only go forward in atmosphere free of terror”. “We also understand that some other SAARC Member States have also conveyed their reservation about attending the Islamabad Summit in November 2016,” it said.

Reacting to India’s announcement, Pakistan has said:

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Pak has noted from Indian Spox’s tweet on Indian announcement about their refusal to participate in SAARC summit being hosted by us:Pak MoFA
10:26 PM – 27 Sep 2016
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Pak has noted from Indian Spox’s tweet on Indian announcement about their refusal to participate in SAARC summit being hosted by us:Pak MoFA
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We have not received any official communication in this regard, the Indian announcement is unfortunate: Pakistan MoFA
10:27 PM – 27 Sep 2016
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We have not received any official communication in this regard, the Indian announcement is unfortunate: Pakistan MoFA
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Pak remains committed to peace & regional coop’n. Will continue to work to that end in the larger interest of people of this region:Pak MoFA
10:29 PM – 27 Sep 2016
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According to sources, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan are the other countries which have said no to attending the Summit.

PM Modi in his post-Uri speech at Kozhikode said perpetrators behind the attack will not be spared. He also said that efforts will be made to isolate Pakistan internationally. Sushma Swaraj in her UNGA speech also hit out at Pakistan for promoting terror. In the aftermath of Uri attack, India has decided to review Most favoured Nation tag given to Pakistan and an inter-ministerial group has been formed to review the Indus Waters Treaty.

Uri-proof handed to Pakistan

For the second time in less than ten days, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday issued a demarche to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit over Uri attack and confronted him with proof of “cross-border origins” of the terror strike in which 18 jawans were killed.

The Foreign Secretary called in Basit and told him that the preliminary interrogation reveals identity of one of the slain Uri attackers as Hafiz Ahmed, son of Feroz and resident of Dharbang, Muzaffarabad and also gives details of Pakistan- based handlers, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

“Local villagers in the Uri sector apprehended on 21 September and handed over to Indian security forces two individuals from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who have acted as guides for terrorists and helped them infiltrate across the LOC. Their personal particulars are -Faizal Hussain Awan, 20 years, S/o Gul Akbar Resident of Potha Jahangir, Muzaffarabad and Yasin Khursheed, 19 years, S/o Mohammed Khurshid Resident of Khiliana Kalan, Muzaffarabad,” Basit was told.

With Agency inputs