Saarc diplomats to meet in Nepal next month

Saarc diplomats to meet in Nepal next month

Saarc diplomats to meet in Nepal next month

Senior diplomats of India, Pakistan and other Saarc member nations are likely to meet in Kathmandu early next month to end the impasse over the 19th summit of the block.

Nepal – the current chair of the Saarc – has convened a meeting of the programme committee of the eight-nation regional bloc in Kathmandu on February 1 and 2.

The diplomats are likely to discuss ways to end the stalemate over the 19th summit, apart from scheduling events to be held by the regional organisation in the coming months.

The 19th summit was proposed to be held in Islamabad in November. However, it was postponed after India pulled out in protest against the continued export of terrorism from Pakistan.

New Delhi decided against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Islamabad for the summit after terrorists from territories under Pakistan’s control crossed the Line of Control and attacked a camp of the Indian Army at Uri in northern Kashmir on September 18. As many as 19 soldiers were killed in the incident.

Islamabad had to postpone the summit as the other Saarc nations too issued statements, pointing out that the situation in the region was not conducive to hold the conclave.

Sources told DH the diplomats from New Delhi would make it clear that India remained committed to Saarc, but the onus to turn the regional situation conducive for holding the summit was on Pakistan.

India remained “steadfast in its commitment” to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts within the Saarc framework, but believed that such initiatives “could only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror”, a source said.

New Delhi has been accusing Islamabad of blocking connectivity initiatives within the Saarc, like the proposed agreements for free movement of trucks and trains within the region, and cooperation to combat terrorism in South Asia.
DH News Service