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    18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu on November 26, 2014

    India Dismisses Pakistan's Invite to SAARC Summit

    © AFP 2018 / NARENDRA SHRESTHA / POOL
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    The last summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit which was scheduled in Pakistan in 2016 was canceled following India’s call for a boycott by members owing to a terror attack on India’s military base blamed on Pakistan-based terror outfits.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): New Delhi has indicated it would not participate in the Summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

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    "We are not responding to it [Pakistan's invitation for the SAARC Summit] positively because, as I said, unless and until Pakistan stops terror activities in India, there will be no dialogue, so we will not participate in SAARC," Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Wednesday.

    "Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not go to attend the SAARC Summit," she added.

    The Indian foreign minister also dismissed speculations that Pakistan's initiative of starting construction on the Kartarpur corridor (for Sikh pilgrimage) was indicative of a thaw in relations.

    "For many years, the Indian government has been asking for this (Kartarpur) corridor, only now Pakistan responded positively. It doesn't mean that the bilateral dialogue will start between India and Pakistan as terror and talks can't go together," Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said.

    India had boycotted the 2016 SAARC Summit which was to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan after a terror attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir killing 19 soldiers. India blamed Pakistan-based extremist groups for the attack while calling off its participation in the SAARC summit citing 'prevailing circumstances'. Following in India's footsteps, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka also boycotted the SAARC Summit which ultimately led to the cancellation of the summit.

    READ MORE: India Issues Warning to Pakistan After Terror Attack on Army Patrol — Reports

    India and Pakistan are going through one of the worst phases of bilateral relations owing to accusations and counter-accusations of cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations.     

    The SAARC is the regional intergovernmental organization of nations of South Asia. It was established on 8 December 1985. India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are its members.

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    Tags:
    Terrorism, regional cooperation, summit, talks, SAARC, Sushma Swaraj, Narendra Modi, India, Pakistan
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