India, Saarc nations get tough with Pak

India, Saarc nations get tough with Pak

India and the other Saarc members recently read the riot act to Pakistan, asking it to immediately pay up $7.85 million as its contribution to the South Asian University (SAU).

Pakistan is the only member of Saarc that has not yet contributed anything for running the varsity in the past seven years since the institution started functioning from a makeshift campus in New Delhi in 2010.

India and the other members of the eight-nation regional organisation warned Pakistan of reviewing its participation in the initiative unless it pays up.

A senior official in New Delhi told DH that Pakistan’s dilly-dallying on making the payment was in sync with its “general policy of resisting all initiatives by Saarc” and speaks volumes about its lack of commitment to regional cooperation in South Asia.

Islamabad in the past blocked several other Saarc initiatives for road and rail connectivity within the region as well as for counter-terrorism cooperation among the member nations.

Pakistan’s non-payment issue was discussed during the ninth meeting of the governing board of the varsity in Dhaka on November 28, 2016.

Pakistan was requested to pay up the outstanding amount in three months. It was decided that the board would review Pakistan’s continued participation in the SAU project if it failed to do so, the Ministry of External Affairs conveyed to a parliamentary panel. The issue was also discussed during the 53rd meeting of Saarc’s programming committee in Kathmandu early last month.

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