Dhaka– Bangladesh has decided not to attend the conference of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation slated to be held in Pakistani capital Islamabad in November.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam came up with the information Wednesday, a day after India decided not to join the 19th summit of the regional grouping.
Indian decision came in the wake of a terrorist attack on its army in Uri of Kashmir allegedly by the militants backed by Pakistan. The two nuclear capable South Asian neighbours are on war footing.
Head of the governments or states from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were scheduled to meet in the two-day summit for November 9-10 in Islamabad.
“We have conveyed our decision to SAARC chair Nepal that we are not attending the 19th SAARC summit,” the junior minister told reporters at his office in Dhaka.
Repeated interference on Bangladesh’s domestic affairs by a country had vitiated the atmosphere of holding such a conference, the minister said referring to the Pakistan’s remarks after the recent executions of 1971 war crimes convicts in Dhaka.
Bangladesh, the then eastern part of Pakistan, became independent through the bloody 1971 war against Pakistan, and the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 set up the special tribunal to prosecute the local collaborators of Pakistani army.
Both Pakistan army and their collaborators are responsible for atrocities on unarmed civilians. Bangladesh estimated nearly 3 million people killed during the war.
Alam said Bangladesh’s decision not to join the summit has no relation with any other country’s decision.
“It is our own decision,” said the minister adding Bangladesh as founder of the regional grouping believes in the regional connectivity and overall cooperation among countries in the grouping.
“Bangladesh will join the SAARC summit once the situation improves,” he added.