SAARC urged to find alternative venue for next Summit
KATHMANDU: SAARC member states have been told to find an alternative venue after more than half members of the regional body expressed unreadiness to hold the next Summit in Islamabad, Pakistan.
A regional Conference on SAARC’s Effectiveness, which concluded in Kathmandu today, suggested for holding the 19th Summit on scheduled date. It also urged the bloc to change the venue for the same if necessary.
The Summit was supposed to be held in Islamabad from November 9-10. But, it has now been virtually differed after five of its eight members have already announced their inability to attend the Summit, owing to recent tensions between India and Pakistan.
Referring to recent terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, India on Tuesday had pulled out from attending the Islamabad Summit. Four other members - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka - followed the suit, referring to the escalation of tension between two of its largest members. As the current Chair of the bloc, Nepal has expected from the host Pakistan for taking necessary initiatives to hold the regional meet on time.
As the current Chair of the bloc, Nepal has expected from the host Pakistan for taking necessary initiatives to hold the regional meet on time.
As per SAARC tradition, its Summit cannot take place even if one member notifies the host and/or other members of its inability to attend the event.
“The next SAARC Summit should be held without any unnecessary delay,” former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said while sharing the conclusion of the two-day conference.
“While Islamabad Summit is deferred for now, with an understanding of all member states, we can even broach the idea of finding an alternative venue for holding the next Summit at the earliest possible date."
He was also the convener of the conference, where parliamentarians, diplomats, think tank members and experts from SAARC member states had participated.The symposium also urged Nepal— both the Chair and the host of the headquarters of SAARC— to take necessary initiatives to avert any in the region.
The symposium also urged Nepal, both the Chair and the host of the headquarters of SAARC, to take necessary initiatives to avert any misunderstanding in the region.
“Nepal as the current Chair should immediately take initiatives in resolving problems through bilateral consultations and collective discussions with a view to saving SAARC from prevailing crisis,” ex- PM Nepal read the conference’s concluding remarks.
For SAARC’s effectiveness, the symposium came up with the recommendation in five core areas of cooperation.
They include learning from success stories of other regional bodies of Asia and beyond, removing existing mistrust and suspicions among its member countries, strengthening connectivity, setting long-term economic cooperation, and revamping and streamlining the existing mechanisms of the body.