‘Saarc boycott reports are Indian propaganda’

Source:  Samaa Published in Politics on Wednesday, September 28, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Strongly denying reports that three Asian countries will boycott upcoming Saarc summit in Pakistan, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz says India in making propaganda to foil the conference that is scheduled to be held in November, Samaa reported.

Pakistan will host the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in November.

India says Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not travel to Islamabad for the regional summit. Today, some Indian media outlets ran reports that Bangladesh has also decided to pull out of the upcoming meet.

The Indian media reports said Afghanistan and Bhutan have also decided the same; however, Pakistan Foreign Office has strongly denied the news and did not confirm the development.

“It’s part of Indian propaganda against Pakistan and our Saarc conference. They are running baseless and misleading reports that some Asian countries will not participate,” FO spokesman said.

“Such rumours about Saarc conference could be propaganda by RAW,” Sartaj Aziz said, while speaking to Samaa.

The propaganda comes amid growing tensions between Pakistan and India, the two nuclear-armed neighbours, following the attack on an Indian army base in held Kashmir.

In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria says it was learnt from the Indian External Affairs Ministry's tweet that India is not going to participate in the SAARC summit. He said it is unfortunate that India is not attending the conference.

“Pakistan is committed to regional peace and will continue working for the broader interest of the people of the region,” he said. - Samaa