Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not going to travel to Pakistan for the SAARC summit which is going to held in Islamabad in November this year as a result of ramping up of offense against Pakistan after the terror attack at Uri.
Cross-border terrorism and interference in the internal affairs of member-states had forced India to rule out participating in the SAARC summit, an official statement said. The announcement means the summit will have to be called off as the regional grouping operates through consensus.
After the announcement of India pulling out of the SAARC summit three other members – Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan – have also decided to pull out of the meet.
Sources said that in its communication to the current chair of SAARC or South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Bangladesh has said, "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."
It adds, "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."
Sources said Afghanistan has cited similar reasons for pulling out of the summit, which cannot take place even if one country withdraws.
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had termed India's announcement "unfortunate" and had stated that Pakistan remains committed to peace and regional cooperation and will continue to work to that end in the larger interest of people of the South Asian region.
Modi has also called a meeting on Thursday to review the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan.
A SAARC summit can take place only when leaders of all member countries are present.