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Pakistan isolated as B'desh, Bhutan, Afghanistan pull out of SAARC Summit after India

A day after India’s announcement of boycotting the SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in Pakistan in November, three more members – Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan – have also decided to pull out of the meet.

India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: September 28, 2016 11:10 IST ]
Pakistan isolated as Bangladesh, Bhutan pull out of SAARC
Pakistan isolated as Bangladesh, Bhutan pull out of SAARC Summit after India

A day after India’s announcement of boycotting the SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in Pakistan in November, three more members – Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan – have also decided to pull out of the meet. 

Following the dastardly attack at an Army base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri by Pak-sponsored terrorists that left 18 Indian soldiers martyred, India had announced on Tuesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not travel to Pakistan for the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad next month. 

The decision by the four countries of the eight-member grouping will lead to the collapse of the summit.

"Due to increased level of violence, fighting as result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, Pres. of Afghanistan with his responsibilities as Commander in Chief will be engaged, & will not be able to attend SAARC Summit," Afghanistan wrote to SAARC chair Nepal. 

Bangladesh also decided to pull out of the summit citing "growing interference" and "escalated terrorism" by Pakistan.

“The growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016,” Dhaka has conveyed to current SAARC chair Nepal. 

“Bangladesh, as the initiator of the SAARC process, remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in a more congenial atmosphere. In view of the above, Bangladesh is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad,” it further added. 

Following India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Bhutan also cited similar reasons for pulling out of the summit, which cannot take place even if one nation withdraws. 

“Bhutan expresses concern over recent escalation of terrorism in the region, which seriously compromises environment for successful holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in Nov 2016,” the communication by Thimpu said.

“Bhutan joins other SAARC countries in conveying inability to participate in the SAARC Summit, under the current circumstances,” it added.

 

The decision by the four nations of the eight-member grouping not to attend the summit would lead to its collapse.

The announcement by India came on a day Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar issued a second demarche to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit over September 18 Uri attack and confronted him with proof of "cross-border origins" of the terror strike in which 18 jawans were killed. 

The attack has triggered a strong response from India which has reviewed the 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty (IWT), and decide to reconsider the MFN status granted by it, unilaterally, to Pakistan.

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