Pakistan Keen To Host 19th SAARC Summit; Blames India For Rupturing Peace Process

Pakistan has expressed desire for commencement of 19th SAARC Summit as soon as possible to promote regional cooperation. The Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said all the other South Asian countries except one have expressed the desire of early resumption of the SAARC summit.

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“All other South Asian countries except one have also expressed the desire of early happening of the summit, he said, in an apparent reference to India.

He said the 19th SAARC summit will be held in Islamabad and it is to be seen whether India wants to move forward on SAARC.

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When asked about the controversial Indian citizenship bill, Faisal said that Pakistan and other regional countries have condemned it. He said this act of India is driven by a toxic mix of extremist Hindutva ideology and hegemonic ambitions in the region.

Voicing anxiety over the situation in Kashmir, Faisal said the humanitarian nightmare is deteriorating in the valley with extended military lockdown and complete communications blackout. Faisal said India should quickly restore internet and mobile phone services, release all the prisoners and remove all the draconian laws. He said India should allow international media and human rights observers to visit Jammu and Kashmir to independently observe the situation there.

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India in 2016 boycotted the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit citing Pakistan’s ongoing support to terrorist activities in India and after Pakistan-based terrorists attacked an Indian Army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir. Bhutan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan also supported Indian in boycotting the 19th SAARC summit.