In a strong message to Pakistan on SAARC Charter Day, India on Thursday said it was up to that country whether it wants to stop cross-border terrorism and allow the SAARC Summit to take place. Thursday is 31st Anniversary of South Asian Association of Regional Countries (SAARC) and 32nd SAARC Charter Day. Asserting that the SAARC member countries, while pulling out of the Summit to be held in Pakistan in November, had maintained that the atmosphere was not conducive because one particular country in the region is promoting cross-border terrorism and interfering blatantly, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the conditions remain the same.
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“In this case the SAARC Summit cannot happen,” he said, adding “it is up to Pakistan to say that it decides not to hold SAARC Summit and is ready to give it up to any country that wants to host it. And the things can go forward.”
Amid heightened tension with Pakistan over Uri terror attack in which 18 soldiers were killed, India had announced its decision of pulling out of the Summit in September, citing increased “cross-border” attacks.
Apart from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also pulled out of the summit, indirectly blaming Pakistan for creating an environment which is not right for the successful holding of the meet, resulting in its collapse.
However, Swarup reiterated India’s firm commitment to the eight-member regional bloc. In his message, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, “While SAARC has, albeit survived, it has not triumphed as had been envisaged, falling behind on the commitments and the promises that we had set out to achieve: progress and prosperity for the common good of our people.”