Thursday, September 29, 2016
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3 more boycott SAARC meet

After India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, B’desh cite terrorism as reason for pullout29 Sep 2016 | 2:12 AM

NEW DELHI:In a big blow to Pakistan and to its image, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh today joined India and conveyed their decision to pull out of the SAARC summit scheduled for November in Islamabad.

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Simran Sodhi

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 28

In a big blow to Pakistan and to its image, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh today joined India and conveyed their decision to pull out of the SAARC summit scheduled for November in Islamabad.

For Pakistan, the major concern is likely to be the fact that all four countries have cited terrorism as the main cause for pulling out of the summit. Sri Lanka has joined the chorus and said the summit would not be possible without India’s participation.

Edit: SAARC summit boycott

According to sources, in its message to Nepal, which holds the chair of SAARC, Afghanistan said because of the increased level of violence as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, its  President was fully engaged, and would not be able to attend the summit.

Bangladesh, which has made its anger with Pakistan very evident, has also conveyed to Nepal that “the growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit”. 

Dhaka also said that the decision to pull out of the summit was entirely their own and not influenced by India’s decision to boycott the summit. 

Bhutan followed suit. 

This diplomatic isolation of Pakistan follows India’s decision late last night to pull out of the summit. Unfazed, Pakistan, in the meantime, said it would go ahead with holding of the SAARC summit. This is at variance with the SAARC charter that states that even if one member of the eight-member grouping does not attend, the summit stands cancelled or postponed.

Reasons given for not attending summit in Nov 

Afghanistan: Increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani as the Commander-in-Chief will be fully engaged, and will not be able to attend the summit

Bangladesh: The growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November  

Bhutan: Unable to attend the summit due to escalation of terrorism in the region

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