With India deciding to pull out of the SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November, the US has said that it continues to pressurise Pakistan to act against terror safe havens within its borders while calling for “de-escalation of the political discourse” between the two South Asian neighbours.
India has said “cross-border terror attacks” have created an environment that is “not conducive” for the meeting. Foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted:
Regional cooperation and terror don’t go together. India pulls out of SAARC Summit in Islamabad pic.twitter.com/jabKoaBegJ
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) September 27, 2016
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan opt out of SAARC summit :
After India pulling out of the SAARC summit in November, three other members – Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan – have also decided to pull out of the meet, isolating host Pakistan.
- Bangladesh has communicated its inability to attend to current SAARC chair Nepal, saying, “The growing interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh by one country has created an environment which is not conducive to the successful hosting of the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad in November 2016.”
- Bhutan too re-affirmed its commitment to regional cooperation, but said the recent escalation of terrorism in the region has “seriously compromised the environment for the successful holding” of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad. “The Royal Government of Bhutan shares the concerns of some of the member countries of SAARC on the deterioration of regional peace and security due to terrorism and joins them in conveying our inability to participate in the SAARC Summit, under the current circumstances,” it said.
- Afghanistan has cited similar reasons for pulling out of the summit.
“Due to increased level of violence and fighting as a result of imposed terrorism on Afghanistan, H.E. the President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani with his responsibilities as the Commander in Chief will be fully engaged, and will not be able to attend the Summit,” said the statement from Afghanistan.
The decision is a key move in India’s global campaign to isolate Pak.
PM Modi has also reviewed the crucial Indus Waters Treaty, which divides resources from six rivers between India and Pakistan, saying “blood and water can’t flow together.”
Officials said India will now utilise much more of its share of water, which will eat into the surplus that Pakistan had been availing.
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has led India’s campaign against Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly, calling for the isolation of nations that export terror.