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Afghanistan boycotts SAARC summit

By Mansoor Faizy-KABUL: After India, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, Afghanistan also come up to the fore and boycotted the upcoming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit to be hosted by Pakistan in November.

The Presidential Palace Spokesman, Haroon Chakhansuri, confirmed to Afghanistan Times that no Afghan official would attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad. “We will not attend the summit at any level. We will boycott the summit,” he said.

He termed lack of cooperation from Pakistan, especially in the war against terrorism as a core reason behind Kabul’s decision to boycott the summit. The Afghan government had repeatedly asked Islamabad to eliminate the Taliban and Haqqani Network and stop using extremists as strategic assets.

Afghan officials have also alleged Pakistan of supporting the Islamic State, also known as Daesh. Security forces have detained several members of Daesh and recovered Pakistani documents from their possession, proving identity of the IS fighters.

Top U.S military generals have also confirmed that most of Daesh members are ex-Pakistani Taliban.

Sri Lanka has already said that the SAARC summit would not be possible without India’s participation.

India recently announced that it was pulling out of the Islamabad summit in the wake of the September 18 cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army base in Uri town of Jammu and Kashmir, which New Delhi has blamed on terrorists based in Pakistan.

According to some sources in Nepal, the current chair of SAARC, confirmed having received messages from the four countries conveying their inability to attend the summit.

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