Srinagar: Pakistan has decided to boycott a key meeting of South Asian Speakers to be held in India later this month, reports said on Wednesday.
The two-day meet begins on February 18 at Indore in Madhya Pradesh. It will discuss poverty, development, environment and gender concerns in South Asia, home to more than 25 per cent of the world population.
Pakistan has decided to give it a slip in an apparent tit-for-tat over India’s refusal to attend a Saarc summit in Islamabad in November last year that got axed after many other member countries too pulled out.
Quoting sources in Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi reports said that no delegation is coming from Pakistan.
In 2015, India boycotted a Commonwealth Parliamentary Union (CPU) meeting in Islamabad to protest against Pakistan’s decision not to invite the Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.
Pakistan attended a conference on Afghanistan India hosted in December, triggering hopes of an end to their tensions and resumption of bilateral talks.
But Pakistan’s decision to skip the Speakers’ conference indicates that the tensions between the two countries are yet to ease.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will inaugurate the Indore meeting on achieving sustainable development goals — organised jointly by the Indian Parliament and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), a global organization for multilateral political and legislative discussions.