Nepal to Saarc members: Don’t help terrorists
Nepal on Sunday urged Saarc member states to ensure that their territories are not used by terrorists for cross-border terrorism , as it announced the postponement of the 19th Saarc Summit.
“To achieve peace and stability in the region, Saarc member states must, among others, ensure that their respective territories are not used by terrorists for cross border terrorism,” Nepal said, without naming Pakistan.
Nepal, which is the current chair of Saarc, expressed regret over the fact that regional environment is not conducive to host the 19th Saarc Summit as of now. The summit was to be held in Islamabad in the month of November. “Nepal will initiate necessary consultation on successfully holding the summit with the participation of all member states, the country’s foreign ministry said in a press statement.
This comes just a couple of days after the host country Pakistan itself postponed the summit, in wake of heightened tensions with India following Uri attack and the surgical strikes carried out by New Delhi along the LoC to eliminate terror launch pads in the POK. The country’s foreign office had blamed India for the derailment of the meet. Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, Nepal on Sunday expressed solidarity and condemned the Uri terror attack which claimed lives of 19 Indian soldiers.
Earlier, India , Bangladesh, Bhutan , Afghanistan and Sri Lanka had already pulled out of the Saarc summit indirectly blaming Pakistan for creating an environment which is not right for the successful holding of the meet.
India was the first country to opt out of the summit. Citing continuous cross-border terrorism by Pakistan, India had on September 27 announced that “in the prevailing circumstances, the government of India is unable to participate in the proposed summit in Islamabad.”
In the coming weeks, leaders from most of the Saarc countries will be in India for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit. The government is reportedly considering inviting the leaders of Maldives and Afghanistan (who are not BIMSTEC members) to the summit, and thereby hold a Saarc-minus-one meeting in India.