Pakistan plays spoilsport at Nepal meet

Pakistan plays spoilsport  at Nepal meet

Pakistan on Wednesday appeared to be isolated in Saarc after it blocked three key agreements that India and all other South Asian nations were keen to sign at the end of the 18th summit of the bloc in Kathmandu to expedite economic integration in the region.

As the summit appeared to be heading for a failure without any significant outcome, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other South Asian leaders discussed the possibility of persuading Pakistan once again on Thursday to come on board and sign the agreements.
The inaugural session of the summit was held on Wednesday. The leaders will, however, meet again for a retreat session on Thursday.

Nepal, which is hosting the summit, had proposed three deals to be signed by the leaders of the eight-nation bloc – two for facilitating trans-border movement of motor vehicles and trains and another for grid interconnection to facilitate supply of electricity from one country to another.

Though India and most of other member-nations extended support for the agreements in order to boost efforts for regional connectivity, Pakistan conveyed that it could not sign the deals as it was yet to finish “internal processes” required to be completed before agreeing to those arrangements.

With Islamabad refusing to budge from its position even after Pakistani Prime Minister M Nawaz Sharif’s arrival in Kathmandu, the 18th Saarc summit, with the theme “Deepening Integration for Peace and Prosperity”, now seems to staring at failure.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that many of the leaders who had a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sideline of the summit conveyed their disappointment over the prospect of the conclave concluding without signing the agreements.

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