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Why SAARC Summit Boycott

Published on Sunday, October 02, 2016
On 18th of September, 2016 a group of Pakistan based terrorists attacked an Indian Army base near Uri in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, in which 18 of our brave soldiers were martyred. This is not the first such attack as previously in 2016, Pakistan based terrorists had carried out an attack on an Indian Air Force airbase at Pathankot in Punjab, claiming precious Indian lives. Pakistan is a neighbour which continuously attempts to destabilise India and is a breeding ground of terrorism, a menace which is taking a heavy toll on the whole world. Though it is a member of SAARC (South Asian Association for regional Cooperation) and should be playing a constructive role, it is the biggest roadblock in the path of true integration of South Asia.

SAARC is a regional intergovernmental organization and a geopolitical union in South Asia, founded in Dhaka in 1985.Its secretariat is based in Kathmandu. The member states include India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The organization promotes development of economical and regional integration. This region comprises 3% of the world's area, roughly 21% of the world's population, and 9.12% of the global economy, as of 2015.

After the recent attacks, Indian Government has taken a tough stand against Pakistan. Indian Army recently carried out a Surgical Strike of terrorist bases in POK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir). Our Government is also trying to isolate Pakistan on both the regional and international levels.

India has also decided to boycott the 19th SAARC summit which is scheduled to be held on 9th and 10th of November, 2016 in Islamabad. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and now Maldives have joined us in this boycott. This show of solidarity of the SAARC member countries in favour of India’s concern for cross-border terrorism is unprecedented, and is the result of the success of a new vigour induced in the Indian Government’s “neighbourhood first” policy which is anchored in realism.

During its inception, the SAARC members had sounded fears about India’s hegemony in the region due its size and clout, and the New Delhi-Islamabad rivalry. But now they have started acknowledging the fact that Pakistan is the main roadblock to SAARC’s integration. Pakistan is such a deplorable nation that even after being accorder the MFN status (Most Favoured Nation status) by India, it does not allows Indian goods and exports to pass through Pakistan to Afghanistan. This situation has seriously hampered India-Afghanistan trade and commerce and has raised its cost immensely. Pakistan does this to isolate Afghanistan and stall its raise. It’s a known fact that the terrorists (Taliban and other groups) tormenting Afghanistan for decades, are a Pakistani product. Pakistan invests heavily in the growth and management of its terrorist manufacturing industry and is deft at exporting it too.

These countries stand united with us against Pakistan and have decided that terrorism and cooperation cannot go hand in hand. They have openly or tacitly acknowledged that terrorism is the biggest threat to regional cooperation, and this menace is the main export of the Pakistani state.

The world off late has also started recognising and acknowledging the fact that Pakistan is a menace and a threat to each and every state. A lot of World powers including the US have voiced their concerns and taken tough stand against Pakistan. Bills and legislations calling to declare Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism are being tabled in US senate. The Indian Government’s attempts to isolate Pakistan are bearing fruit and the isolation now seems to be complete. SAARC nations boycotting the SAARC summit to be held in Islamabad is a tight slap on the face of the Pakistani state. But regrettably Pakistan still maintains that it is innocent and threatens to carry out nuclear attacks, with the tacit or overt backing of few states (like its Iron Brother China). It is shameless state which is not only a treat to SAARC but also is a curse upon the whole world.

The decision by the four countries prompted SAARC chair Nepal on Wednesday to call off the summit . Finally the Summit was cancelled in Islamabad & Pakistan Gov. facing a tuff situation to manage international disputes after the Boycott.

Here are five finer points in the diplomatic tussle : -
  1. Linking terrorism with regional cooperation
  2. Raising a coalition: Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan, too, to corner Pakistan
  3. Back to the revival of Saarc-1 formula
  4. Political messaging, factoring in domestic compulsions
  5. Smelling first victory of its ‘isolate Pakistan’ policy

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