The 19th SAARC Summit 2016 which is to be held in the capital, Islamabad, is now most likely to be called-off. This decision comes after the decision of other countries who have decided to back out. India already objected to the summit because of the Uri Attacks, which it holds Pakistan responsible for.


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According to sources, other countries who have backed out are Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and the Himalayan nation is also deciding to back away. Pakistan is to host the summit in November, which is most likely to be postponed now to a further date.

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Chair of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation confirmed having received messages from the four countries conveying their inability to attend the summit due in Islamabad on November 9-10. A final decision still has to be made to as half of the panel which was to attend the summit has decided to back out.

Sri Lanka has already made a bold statement that without India the Saarc Summit 2016 will not be possible. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that India has conveyed to Nepal its decision not to attend the summit, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to go.

He added, “Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that India has conveyed to Nepal its decision not to attend the summit, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to go. India remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity, and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror.

“In the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed summit in Islamabad,” he said in the statement. Pakistan has termed the boycott decision as “unfortunate”.

Bangladesh also responded to Nepal by saying, “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 2016.”

“Bangladesh, as the initiator of the Saarc process, remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in a more congenial atmosphere. In view of the above, Bangladesh is unable to participate in the proposed summit in Islamabad.”