SAARC pacts: Pakistan plays spoiler, India says will move ahead with integration

The spotlight is on Pakistan at the 18th SAARC summit in Kathmandu, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Leaders of South Asian countries voiced “disappointment “ at the stalling of the three key pacts on road and rail connectivity and energy-sharing by Pakistan, which refused to go along with the pacts which were expected to be headline outcomes of the SAARC summit on grounds that its internal processes were not complete.
“They were more than a little disappointed ( at the failure of the SAARC connectivity and energy-related pacts to go through), ” Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, told journalists at the end of a long-day of back-to-back diplomatic engagements by the Indian prime minister. The spokesperson stressed that the leaders, in their discussions with Mr Modi, said that “this did not augur well for the region. “
India, on its part, clarified that these pacts were not India’s proposals but those of the SAARC secretariat, and underlined that despite the temporary stalling of these pacts, India will march ahead on bilateral track or through the path of sub-regional integration.

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