Pakistan to go ahead with SAARC despite boycott by India, 3 other nations

19th SAARC Summit to be held in Pakistan.

NEW DELHI :  Heedless to the boycott by India and three other SAARC member nations deciding not to participate in the grouping’s summit, Pakistan on Wednesday said it will go ahead and host the event in November. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup, however, said that according to SAARC rule, if any one head of state or govt pulls out from SAARC Summit, it has to be postponed.

Under the SAARC charter, the summit is automatically postponed or cancelled even if one member country skips the event.

Pakistan’s reaction:

Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan will host the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in November, Radio Pakistan reported on Wednesday.

Zakaria was quoted as saying that it was learnt from the Indian External Affairs Ministry’s tweet that India is not going to participate in the SAARC Summit, a decision he called “unfortunate”.

“While we have not received any official communication in this regard, the Indian announcement is unfortunate,” he said.

The spokesperson also said Pakistan is committed to regional peace and will continue working for the broader interest of the people of the region, according to the report.

Pakistan calls it India’s propaganda:

Separately, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said India is making propaganda to foil the conference that was scheduled to be held in November, according to Pakistan Today newspaper.

Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan boycott Islamabad SAARC summit

Soon after India said no to 19th SAARC summit to be held in Islamabad, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also pulled out of Summit in November, saying the environment is not right for the successful holding of the meet. The decision was conveyed by Bangladesh and Bhutan Tuesday to the SAARC Chair Nepal and by Afghanistan on Wednesday.