Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria while talking to the media on Friday said that India’s decision to derail the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) contradicts Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to fight against poverty in the region. He was of the view that India’s decision to not participate in the summit on the basis of unfounded assumptions on the Uri attack is an attempt to divert world attention from Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.
SAARC summit was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November but India decided to pull out from the summit in the guise of Uri army base attack in Indian held Kashmir. After India’s decision, Bangladesh, Bhutan and neighbouring country of Pakistan Afghanistan also decided to not participate in the summit. After decision of four member states of the SAARC organization, fate of the summit remains unclear and more likely it would be cancelled.
It would be a big loss for all the member states of the regional organization; SAARC summit could have been the platform to defuse tension between India and Pakistan and to explore ways of regional cooperation. In 11th SAARC summit held in Kathmandu, then President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf forced Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to rise and shake hands with him, the act many believe helped to deter two countries from their untenable logic of war. Diplomacy should be given chance to defuse escalating tension between India and Pakistan, only peace can ensure regional prosperity. Pakistan also needs to ponder that how India convinced three other regional countries to not participate in the summit and why Pakistan failed to do so.
Only peace can ensure regional prosperity, diplomacy is the way forward to defuse escalating tension between India and Pakistan.