Unfazed by India and three other SAARC nations deciding to pull out from the summit, Pakistan on Wednesday said it will still hold the meet in November as scheduled which flies in the face of the SAARC charter under which even if one head of government skips the event, it gets automatically postponed or cancelled. 

Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan will host the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in November, Radio Pakistan reported on Wednesday.

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Zakaria was quoted as saying that it was learnt from the Indian External Affairs Ministry’s tweet that India is not going to participate in the SAARC Summit, a decision he called “unfortunate”. “While we have not received any official communication in this regard, the Indian announcement is unfortunate,” he said. 

The spokesperson also said Pakistan is committed to regional peace and will continue working for the broader interest of the people of the region, according to the report. 

The adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said India is making propaganda to foil the conference that was scheduled to be held in November, according to Pakistan Today newspaper.

Besides India, three other SAARC members – Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan – have pulled out of the summit, indirectly blaming Pakistan for “creating an environment which is not right for the successful holding” of the meet. 

Under the SAARC charter, the summit is automatically postponed or cancelled even if one member country skips the event. 

Tensions between India and Pakistan are growing after militants stormed an Indian Army base in Uri on September 18, killing 18 soldiers.

(Feature image source: Reuters)