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Published: Wed, September 28, 2016
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

India to not participate in regional summit in Pakistan

India to not participate in regional summit in Pakistan

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that India has conveyed to current SAARC Chair Nepal its decision not to attend the summit, for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi was slated to go. India also claims in the statement that it remains steadfast in its commitment for regional cooperation.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the Uri attack which left 18 Indian soldiers martyred, the Indian government on Tuesday said it will not participate in the upcoming SAARC Summit in Islamabad.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to attend the 8-nation summit in the Pakistani capital.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the member states of the organisation.

The MEA announcement came as India signalled a rethink on a 1960 water sharing pact with Pakistan that is a lifeline for the economy as well as revoking the Most Favoured Nation Status extended to Pakistan under global trade rules. Pakistan, he said, remained committed to peace and regional cooperation. Islamabad was to host the summit on 9-10 November.

India says it does not plan to abrogate the treaty but Modi said on Monday India should "maximise" the amount of water it uses without breaching the agreement.

The announcement comes amid growing tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours following the attack on an Indian army base in held Kashmir.

India said it understood that some other SAARC members were apprehensive about attending but it did not name them.

The Foreign Secretary called in Basit on Tuesday and told him that the preliminary interrogation reveals identity of one of the slain Uri attackers as Hafiz Ahmed, son of Feroz and resident of Dharbang, Muzaffarabad of Pakistan-administered-Kashmir.

The move seems stepping up of India's diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan globally after the recent Uri terror attack blamed by New Delhi on Islamabad.

Reacting to India's decision to pull out, the Pakistan Foreign Office, termed the decision as "unfortunate".

"As far as the excuse used by India, the world knows that it is India that has been perpetrating and financing terrorism in Pakistan", Zakaria said.

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