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SAARC Chair cancels summit, orders Pakistan to eliminate terrorism

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: After more than half of the members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) boycotted the summit to be held in Islamabad, Nepal the current chair, came out to the fore and expressed its opinion.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Foreign Office of Nepal said: “Nepal regrets that regional environment is not conducive to host 19th SAARC Summit scheduled for 9 &10 Nov’16 in Islamabad (Pakistan). As current Chair of SAARC, Nepal underscores the need for creating a conducive regional environment for the SAARC Summit. Nepal will initiate necessary consultation on successfully holding 19th Summit with the participation of all member states.”

India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka expressed their inability to attend the summit, and it is widely believe that the regional environment remains non-conducive due to the fact that nearly all the countries in South Asia are exasperated with Pakistan for spreading terrorism in their respective countries.

The South Asia is exasperated with Pakistan’s involvement in the internal affairs of its neighbors and its continued support for terrorism.

Realizing the fact, Nepal slammed Pakistan for nurturing terrorist on its soil. “To achieve peace and stability, SAARC member states must ensure their territories aren’t used for cross-border terrorism,” Nepal’s Foreign Office said.

South Asia is extremely annoyed with Pakistan’s involvement in the internal affairs of its neighbors and its continued support for terrorism.  Afghanistan’s statement to SAARC chair Nepal was one of the fiercest in terms of accusations allayed on Pakistan. The statement said, “Due to increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, the President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani with his responsibilities as the Commander in Chief will be fully engaged, and will not be able to attend the Summit.” Speaking on this Afghanistan’s envoy to India, Shaida Abdali had said, “Right now the environment is not conducive to conduct SAARC summit with terrorism continuing in the region.”

Similarly, Bangladesh categorically said that “the growing interference” in its internal affairs by one country has “created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the SAARC Summit.”

As major members boycotted the summit, recently, Pakistan announced that the summit scheduled for November 9-10 in Islamabad had been postponed ‘indefinitely’ and will now be held on an alternative date

“A new set of dates for holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad will be announced soon, through the Chair of SAARC (Nepal). Accordingly, we have conveyed the same to the Prime Minister of Nepal, the current Chair of SAARC,” a press release from the office of the Spokesperson of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Fueling insecurity by the Pakistan in Afghanistan is the core reason behind boycott.  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.

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