NEW DELHI: Blaming Pakistan for not creating an atmosphere conducive for SAARC summit, India Tuesday announced that PM Narendra Modi will not travel to Islamabad for the proposed Summit in November. The development will likely be seen as first serious and meaningful Indian response to the Uri attack, which left 18 Indian soldiers dead, and in line with subsequent Indian assertions about isolating Pakistan diplomatically.
India’s decision means that the Summit will have to be called off as it operates through consensus. The announcement came hours after foreign secretary S Jaishankar summoned Pakistan envoy Abdul Basit and revealed to him that one of the slain terrorists in the Uri attack, and 2 other men who helped the terrorists cross the LoC, were all from Muzaffarabad in PoK.
Basit told Jaishankar in the meeting that Pakistan believed the attack was the handiwork of Indian security forces meant to divert attention from the strife in Kashmir and demanded an international probe into it.
MEA said in a press release that it had conveyed to SAARC Chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of Member States by “one country” had created an environment that was not conducive to the successful holding of the 19th SAARC Summit.
“India remains steadfast in its commitment to regional cooperation, connectivity and contacts but believes that these can only go forward in an atmosphere free of terror,” said the foreign ministry.