Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 18:46 IST
There will be no meeting of SAARC foreign ministers once again on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Annual Session, from September 18 to September 26. The last meeting of the SAARC foreign ministers was held in 2019.
Nepal, which is the current chair of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) had called an informal meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers on September 20 in New York to revive the process, according to the Kathmandu Post.
Pakistan has boycotted the SAARC meetings since the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir in 2019.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar had a couple of months ago slammed Pakistan while being asked a question on SAARC meetings. He said India cannot hold the meeting when one member of the group engages in acts of terror.
“You have not heard very much about SAARC because, in the last few years, there isn’t very much to hear about. We have not had meetings because you have a member of SAARC who doesn’t conform to all the basic requirements of what a good membership is, and that is today an obstacle reality for the SAARC to meet. You know I said we cannot continue with acts of terrorism and say the cooperation will continue to happen nevertheless,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
India had expressed its inability to attend the SAARC summit following the terror attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri on September 18, 2016. The summit was eventually called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Afghanistan also declined to participate in it.
SAARC comprises India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka. This, however, is not the first time Jaishankar blamed Pakistan for the inactivity of SAARC.