India to shun Saarc summits: Sources

The Asian Age.

India, All India

Sources on Tuesday said

S. Jaishankar (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: India “does not contemplate any Saarc summit” in the near future as Pakistan continues its policy of being actively involved in sponsoring cross-border terrorism, sources have said.

It may be recalled that the South Asian grouping Saarc which stands for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation was  described last year by the then foreign secretary S. Jaishankar as a "jammed" vehicle.

Sources on Tuesday said "one country" — an obvious reference to Pakistan — continues its policy of sponsoring terror.  It may be recalled that the 19th Saarc Summit, which was scheduled to have been held in Islamabad in 2016, was "indefinitely postponed" after India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan among others pulled out of the event. India had then cited cross-border terrorism as reason for pulling out of  summit after Pathankot and Uri attacks. There has been speculation for past couple of years that India is trying to make the Bay of Bengal Initiative for the Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, another regional grouping of most of south Asian and some south-east Asian countries, more relevant as an alternative to Saarc.