Nepal negotiates with India, Pakistan to revitalize SAARC


KATHMANDU, April 23: Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Sunday said that Nepal has been holding negotiations with India and Pakistan to revitalize the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

The prime minister said that Nepal, as the current chair of SAARC, has been making sincere efforts to remove misunderstanding between India and Pakistan through dialogue with regards to SAARC.

“I have requested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to remove their misunderstandings regarding SAARC,” Oli said.

He said the SAARC process should not be derailed due to misunderstanding on bilateral issues between SAARC member states.

“Nepal believes that SAARC plays an effective role in this region. In the capacity of the ongoing chair of SAARC, it is Nepal’s responsibility to take initiatives to make SAARC dynamic,” he said.

Nepal has been asking SAARC member states to organize the SAARC summit as early as possible, which has not been held since Nepal held the 18th SAARC summit in 2014 in Kathmandu.

The 19th SAARC summit, scheduled to be held in Islamabad on Nov. 9-10 in 2016, was cancelled after India, Afghanistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh decided to skip the summit blaming Pakistan for not cooperating on combating cross-border terrorism in South Asia.

However, Pakistan vehemently denied the charges, saying it was sincerely working to curb cross-border terrorism.

SAARC is a regional body founded in 1985 in South Asia, comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. XINHUA