In a major diplomatic embarrassment for Pakistan, four out of eight SAARC countries have pulled out of 19th SAARC Summit to be held in Islamabad in November.
Following India’s decision not to take part in the Islamabad summit, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan have also decided to boycott the Summit.
India’s External Affairs Ministry said in a statement that New Delhi has conveyed to current SAARC Chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in internal affairs of member states by one country created environment which is not conducive to successful holding of Summit.
It, however, added that India remains steadfast in commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror.
A communication from the Foreign Ministry has said Bangladesh has taken the decision to skip the SAARC summit over Pakstan’s growing interference in its internal affairs.
It said one country has created an environment which isnot conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad.
Expressing concern over recent escalation of terrorism in the region, Bhutan has also conveyed its inability to participate in the Summit. It said the current atmosphere seriously compromises the environment for successful holding of the Summit.
As per reports in international media, Bhutan it shared the concerns of some of SAARC countries on deterioration of regional peace and security due to terrorism.