Pakistan’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz on Saturday accused India of “impeding the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s proceedings”, PTI reported. During meetings with the outgoing Saarc Secretary General and Nepal representative Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Aziz and Islamabad’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry expressed hope that country would soon host the 19th Saarc summit.
The meet had been postponed after Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh followed India’s refusal to participate in the summit. “Islamabad was looking forward to welcoming Saarc leaders for the 19th Summit in November 2016. India impeded the process and violated the spirit of the charter,” IANS quoted Aziz as saying. Chaudhry told the Saarc secretary general that bilateral disputes should not hamper the association’s functioning.
In October 2016, Nepal had said the environment was not conducive to hosting the summit in Islamabad after India withdrew its participation. India had backed out of the summit in the aftermath of an attack on the Army facility at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir. India had said the attack was orchestrated by a Pakistan-based militant group.
Islamabad had accused New Delhi, which wields a significant amount of power in the association, of derailing the summit’s proceedings scheduled for November 9 and 10.