As Lanka pulls out, SAARC postponed; Afghanistan backs surgical strikes
“Sri Lanka regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad,” the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry statement said in a statement in Colombo. Besides India, three other SAARC members — Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan — have already pulled out of the Summit, indirectly blaming Pakistan for creating an environment which is not right for the successful holding of the meet.
The General Provisions of the SAARC Charter require that decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity, and this applies to the convening of meetings of Heads of State or Government of SAARC Member States as well, the Sri Lankan statement said. The statement made no reference to the current tension between India and Pakistan, but it “condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”
In a related development, Afghanistan on Friday backed India’s surgical strikes on terror launch pads in PoK, terming it as an act of “self-defence”, and in a strong message to Pakistan asserted that time has come to take “tough” and “risky” decisions to deal with the menace of terrorism. Afghanistan’s Ambassador to India Shaida Abdali said his country does not make distinction between terrorist groups and is against all such organisations that pose a danger and threat to any country in the world.