ISLAMBAD: India’s decision to derail the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit effectively contradicts Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to fight against poverty in the region, Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said on Friday.
“India’s decision to abstain from the summit on the basis of unfounded assumptions on the Uri incident is a futile effort to divert attention of the world from the atrocities perpetrated by India in occupied Kashmir,” said Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson for the FO.
The FO also said Pakistan attaches great importance to regional cooperation under the Saarc umbrella and it is committed to Saarc objectives for promoting the welfare of people in the South Asian region.
“Pakistan remains committed to hosting the 19th Saarc Summit at Islamabad at the earliest so that the objectives of regional cooperation under the Saarc umbrella can be pursued more vigorously,” added Zakaria.
New dates for hosting the 19th Saarc summit will be announced soon after consultation “with the Chair of Saarc”.
“Accordingly, we have conveyed the same to the Prime Minister of Nepal, the current Chair of Saarc.”
The FO stated that all preparations for holding a successful summit had been made, and the prime minister of Pakistan was looking forward to hosting the delegations.