International desk – India has decided not to attend the upcoming summit of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation slated to be held in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, in November.
Indian newspaper reported that its government was trying to scale up its diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan from the global arena after an attack on Indian troops in Uri of Kashmir by Pakistani militants.
Times of India reported that the Indian government on Tuesday said it will not attend the next SAARC summit. Bangladesh and Bhutan are likely to follow the suit.
“In the prevailing circumstances, the government of India is unable to participate in the proposed SAARC summit in Islamabad,” ministry of external affairs said in a statement.
“We also understand that some other SAARC states have also conveyed their reservation about attending the summit in November 2016,” the statement said.
India’s decision to not attend the SAARC summit also rules out PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Islamabad in November for the same, reported the newspaper.
Pakistan has termed India’s decision to not attend the SAARC summit as “unfortunate”.
However, Pakistan said that it has not received any official confirmation from India on its decision to not attend SAARC summit.
The external affairs ministry also said that India 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 have created an environment that is not conducive to successful holding of summit in Islamabad.
India said that it is committed to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror.