<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan postponed the SAARC Summit to be held here next month after India along with four other member states of the regional grouping decided against attending the meet.”Pakistan deplores India’s decision to impede the SAARC process by not attending the 19th SAARC Summit at Islamabad on 9-10 November 2016,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.It claimed that the spirit of the SAARC Charter is “violated” when a member state casts the shadow of its bilateral problems on the multilateral forum for regional cooperation.Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was looking forward to welcome the SAARC leaders for their participation in the summit. All preparations had been made for “successful” holding of the summit, the statement said.It alleged that decision by India to “derail the summit” effectively “contradicts” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s own call to fight against poverty in the region.”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” by India in Kashmir, the Foreign Office said.”Pakistan attaches great importance to regional cooperation under the umbrella of SAARC…Therefore, 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,” it said.The Foreign Office said a new set of dates for holding of the summit in Islamabad will be announced soon, through Nepal, which is currently the SAARC Chair.”Accordingly, we have conveyed the same to the Prime Minister of Nepal,” it said.The announcement came after Sri Lanka pulled out of 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad, becoming the fifth country to do so after India expressed its inability to participate in the summit. “Sri Lanka regrets that the prevailing environment in the region is not conducive for holding the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement here. The General Provisions of the SAARC Charter require that decisions at all levels shall be taken on the basis of unanimity, and this applies to the convening of meetings of Heads of State or Government of SAARC Member States as well, it said in the brief statement.The statement made no reference to the current tension between India and Pakistan, but it “condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”. It stressed on the need to deal with the issue of terrorism in the region in a decisive manner. “Peace and security are essential elements for the success of meaningful regional cooperation for the benefit of the people of South Asia. “As a founding member of SAARC, committed to regional cooperation, Sri Lanka hopes that the steps required to ensuring our region s peace and security will be taken to create an environment that is conducive for the pursuit of regional cooperation,” the statement added.Besides India, three other SAARC members – Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan – have pulled out of the summit, indirectly blaming Pakistan for creating an environment which is not right for the successful holding of the meet.That development came after tensions ran high between India and Pakistan after militants stormed an Indian Army base in Uri on September 18, killing 18 soldiers. The militants belonged to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist group. Founded in 1985, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) currently has Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka as its members.

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SAARC 2016 in Islamabad postponed, Pakistan blames PM Modi