India underlines terror concerns, says no to SAARC summit in Pakistan

India’s latest statement about its inability to participate in the SAARC summit, planned to be held in Pakistan, clearly signals that the moribund eight-nation South Asian regional grouping is headed for a prolonged spell in wilderness.
In his meeting with his Nepalese counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli in New Delhi on April 8, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear that given continuing cross-border terror from Pakistan, it won’t be possible for India to participate in the SAARC summit in Pakistan.
India’s studied position on the SAARC summit in Pakistan underlined the deepening chill in India-Pakistan ties, which was recently strained further due to mutual recriminations over harassment of each other’s diplomats posted in Delhi and Islamabad.

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India voices SAARC scepticism, focuses on fast-track delivery

Is SAARC in danger of becoming irrelevant? India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, for one, certainly thinks so, reinforcing widespread skepticism about the bleak future of the grouping which remains mired in India-Pakistan rivalry and Islamabad’s stonewalling of SAARC’s key initiatives.
In her speech at an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of SAARC member nations on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Mrs Swaraj voiced India’s disappointment with the failure of the eight-nation South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to live up to its aims and objectives. The minister spelled out a host of roadblocks that continue to stall any significant progress made by the eight-nation grouping.
There was no clear indication regarding the SAARC summit, but the minister clarified that unless the high-level meetings translate into concrete actions on the ground, the relevance of the group would be lost. With India and Pakistan intensifying their war of words at the UNGA, the fate of SAARC, as of now, hangs in the balance.

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India’s big space moment: ISRO’s 104 satellites launch stuns world

When the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C37 was successfully launched carrying 104 satellites, an overwhelming majority of them aimed at foreign customers, from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in southern state of Andhra Pradesh, on February 16, it marked a major milestone for India’s state-owned space agency ISRO. It was a stunning feats as this is the highest number of satellites put into orbit by any country in one go. The previous international record of launching 27 satellites in a single payload was held by Russia for less than three years.

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Isolated by India, Pakistan plays with ‘bigger SAARC’ idea

In the wake of the Uri terror strike, India announced its decision not to participate in the SAARC summit which was supposed to be held in Pakistan in November this year. All other SAARC nations followed suit, and decided to boycott the summit. Distressed by this marginalisation and mainly due to India’s increasing influence in the SAARC, Pakistan is now playing with the idea of a greater SAARC. According to a recent report in the Dawn newspaper, Pakistan is looking at the possibility of a “bigger SAARC” to check India’s increasing dominance in the eight-member forum.

According to the report, “Pakistan has pitched the idea of a greater South Asian economic alliance, one that includes China, Iran, and some neighboring Central Asian countries”. A parliamentary delegation from Pakistan during its five-day visit to Washington last week pitched this idea, the report said. “A greater South Asia is already emerging,” Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed was quoted as saying in one of his interactions with the media. “This greater South Asia includes China,Iran, and the neighboring Central Asian republics,” he said. He described the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the key economic route linking South Asia with Central Asia.

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Behind India’s BIMSTEC-BRICS gamble: How to isolate Pakistan

Marking the near complete isolation of Pakistan in the region, terrorism is set to dominate the agenda of dual summits of BRICS and BIMSTEC countries India is hosting in Goa October 15-16.

With Pakistan showing no sign of abandoning terrorism as an instrument of state policy, the overarching focus of India will be to get both BRICS and BIMSTEC groupings to back a collective approach to combating the scourge. India will be pressing these groupings to support a non-segmented approach to terror, which is necessary in view of the propensity of some countries to portray terrorists as freedom fighters, as Pakistan has done in the case of militants active in Kashmir.

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India snubs Pakistan, says no to SAARC summit

In a major step aimed at isolating Pakistan in the region, India has announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not participate in the SAARC summit in Islamabad due to cross-border terrorist attacks, an obvious reference to the Uri assault by Pakistani terrorists.

In a diplomatic retaliation for Pakistan’s diversionary posturing on the Kashmir issue, India has underlined that the current environment is not conducive to then holding of the SAARC summit.

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Pakistan wakes up, says India’s growth crucial for SAARC’s success

Signalling a turnaround in Islamabad’s attitude towards the India story, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit has underscored that India should continue to achieve higher growth rate and termed the country a major driving force in the success of entire South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.

“If India rises, confidence of the entire region rises. We in South Asia do believe that India does have a wherewithal and resolves to step to the plate and ensure that it achieves its economic goals, because if India rises we are confident the entire region will rise with India,” said Mr Basit at a meeting organized by industry body ASSOCHAM in New Delhi on March 30.

The envoy also stressed on the importance of creating a level playing field among the members of SAARC, and said that economic development shouldn’t be muted in the political noise.

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