SAARC Summit 2018: The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation or the SAARC Summit is held in different South Asian Nations, every 12-18 months. The first SAARC Summit was held in Bangladesh, in 1985. The last SAARC Summit, in 2016, was to be held in Pakistan but after a boycott by India following the Uri attack, and supported by other nations, it was cancelled. Pakistan is now seeking support from smaller South Asian nations to host the regional SAARC Summit in Islamabad this year.
Pakistan is aggressively seeking support from smaller South Asian nations to host the Saarc summit in Islamabad. Sri Lanka and Nepal have already shown support, but analysts doubt India will agree as it holds Pakistan responsible for numerous terrorist activities in its homeland.
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The 19th Saarc Summit, 2016
In 2016, Pakistan was to host the 19th Saarc summit. With many militant attacks on India, followed by the terrifying Pathankot and the Uri attack, prompted India to boycott the summit and this was supported by some other nations too. The same year, in October, India hosted the Goa Brics summit and invited all BIMSTEC leaders. At the Goa summit PM Narendra Modi called Pakistan the ‘mothership of terrorism’ and spoke about Pakistan’s aid to terrorists and terrorism.
Will Pakistan be able to convince the nations and host the Saarc Summit this year?
The PM of Pakistan is reaching out to smaller nations and aggressively working towards bringing the Saarc summit home this year. He met his Nepalese counterpart earlier this month and the summit was one of the key agendas to be discussed. Last week the Sri Lankan President visited Islamabad and the issue was discussed there too. Both Nepal and Sri Lanka have confirmed support for Pakistan.
Will India attend the Saarc Summit in Islamabad?
The question now is will India agree to the summit being hosted in Pakistan? Indian analysts have stated that the support by the smaller nations is a diplomatic front and may not affect India’s decision. India believes that many of the Saarc projects have remained unfulfilled as Pakistan has opposed India’s proposals. Former Foreign Secretary of India had stated that the summit was unable to reach its potential because of ‘one country’ being off-sync with the rest.