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Up to Pakistan whether it wants to allow SAARC Summit to happen: India

In a strong message to Pakistan on SAARC Charter Day, India today said it was up to Islamabad whether it wants to stop cross-border terrorism and allow the SAARC Summit to take place.

India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: December 08, 2016 23:47 IST ]
SAARC Summit was scheduled in Pakistan in November but was
SAARC Summit was scheduled in Pakistan in November but was cancelled

In a strong message to Pakistan on SAARC Charter Day, India today said it was up to Islamabad whether it wants to stop cross-border terrorism and allow the SAARC Summit to take place. 

Today is 31st Anniversary of South Asian Association of Regional Countries (SAARC) and 32nd SAARC Charter Day. 

In his message today, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today lamented the postponement of the SAARC’s Islamabad summit and said the eight-member grouping has "survived" but not "triumphed" as had been envisaged. 

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup today asserted that the SAARC member countries, while pulling out of the Summit to be held in Pakistan in November, had maintained that the atmosphere was not conducive because one particular country in the region is promoting cross-border 


terrorism and interfering blatantly.

"In this case the SAARC Summit cannot happen," he said, adding "it is up to Pakistan to say that it decides not to hold SAARC Summit and is ready to give it up to any country that wants to host it. And the things can go forward." 

Amid heightened tension with Pakistan over Uri terror attack in which 18 soldiers were killed, India had announced its decision of pulling out of the Summit in September, citing increased "cross-border" attacks. 

Apart from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also pulled out of the summit, indirectly blaming Pakistan for creating an environment which is not right for the successful holding of the meet, resulting in its collapse. 

However, Swarup reiterated India's firm commitment to the eight-member regional bloc. 

Sharif, in his message on SAARC Charter Day, said "While SAARC has, albeit survived, it has not triumphed as had been envisaged, falling behind on the commitments and the promises that we had set out to achieve: progress and prosperity for the common good of our people." 

Sharif also felicitated SAARC member states and their citizens. 

(With PTI inputs) 

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