Pak isolated: Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangla to skip SAARC summit

28 September 2016

India's move to isolate Pakistan after the cross-border terrorist attack in Uri seems to be showing results. After India pulled out of the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit scheduled to be held in Pakistan this November, others like Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh have followed suit.

Additionally, the US has again put pressure on Pakistan to take action against terrorists who seek sanctuary within Pakistan's borders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been seeking to isolate Pakistan in a response to Pakistan-backed terrorist attacks in India, and in this, he is getting the support of the international community as countries see Pakistan as being responsible for creating an environment conducive to terrorism.

The ministry of external affairs conveyed to SAARC chair Nepal on Tuesday that it will not attend the meet this November. It added that ''increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of member states by one country (Pakistan) have created an environment that is not conducive to the successful holding of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016.''

According to reports, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also expressed their unwillingness to attend the meet while one report quoted Sri Lankan authorities as saying SAARC summit cannot move forward without India.

India has already asserted that it will review the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) that governs water sharing between India and Pakistan from six rivers of the Indus basin. Meanwhile, another meeting has been called on Thursday to discuss revoking Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan. Pakistan now stands cornered in its own neighbourhood with only China as a strategic ally.

Concurrently, US State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner stated on Tuesday that the US continues to ''put pressure on Pakistan to respond to those groups who are ''seeking safe haven on Pakistan's borders', that - who are intent on carrying out attacks elsewhere in the region''.


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