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Nepal Takes a Dig at Pakistan While Officially Postponing SAARC Meet

Sri Lanka also pulled out of the SAARC Summit on Friday, becoming the fifth country to do so.

CNN-News18

Updated:October 2, 2016, 6:13 PM IST
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New Delhi: NEPAL has announced that the SAARC summit slated to take place in Islamabad next month has been postponed, and in a veiled reference to Pakistan also said that member states should ensure that their respective territories are not used by terrorists for cross-border terrorism.

A press release to this effect issued by the Government of Nepal also said Kathmandu had condemned the terrorist attack on the Indian army base in Uri, Kashmir, last month.

Nepal unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and expresses its solidarity in the global fight against terrorism. Nepal has always condemned all acts of terror in our own region," the release said.

Nepal said that it was postponing the 19th SAARC Summit because the "regional environment is not conducive".

The host country, Pakistan, has informed the Chair of SAARC of the postponement, the release said. Reminding that an environment of peace and stability was essential for meaningful regional cooperation, Nepal said SAARC nations, among others, should ensure that their respective territories are not used by terrorists for cross-border terrorism.

SAARC member-states India and Bangladesh have long accused Pakistan of promoting cross-border terrorism, and in the wake of the Uri attack, the countries along with Bhutan and Afghanistan had pulled out of the summit.

On Friday, Pakistan had announced that it was postponing the summit.

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.

Sri Lanka also pulled out of the SAARC Summit on Friday, becoming the fifth country to do so.

Citing continuous cross border terrorism by Pakistan, India had announced earlier this week that "in the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad."

SAARC member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

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| Edited by: Smrithin Satishan
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