Kathmandu: “SAARC member-states must ensure that their territories are not used by terrorists for cross-border terrorism”, the current Chair of the regional grouping said on Sunday.
Taking exception to the recent developments between India and Pakistan following a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri sector where 19 Indian soldiers were killed, Nepal on Sunday called upon all member-states to create a conducive regional environment for the 19th SAARC Summit.
Pakistan was scheduled to host the 19th Saarc Summit in Islamabad in November, which now stands postponed until further notice after India pulled out from the summit.
But as the Chair of SAARC, Nepal was cautiously following the events unfolding in the region.
With Sunday’s new statement, which followed intense diplomatic pressure on Nepal, the Himalayan nation has gradually shifted its stance and was now toeing the Indian position.
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” on Friday and urged him to make the country’s stand clear on terrorism and as to what Nepal thinks about the recent spike in tension at the India-Pakistan border. This could be the reason behind Nepal’s change of mind, sources here said.
“Nepal strongly believes that an environment of peace and stability is essential for regional cooperation. To achieve peace and stability in the region, Saarc member-states must, among others, ensure that their respective territories are not used by terrorists for cross-border terrorism”, said the Foreign Ministry statement.
“Nepal unequivocally condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and expresses its solidarity in the global fight against terrorism. Nepal has always condemned all acts of terrorism in our region.”
Most recently, Nepal had condemned the Uri terror attack.
The statement said Nepal regrets that the regional environment is not conducive to host the 19th Saarc Summit scheduled for November 9-10 in Islamabad.
“The host country, Pakistan, has informed the Chair of SAARC of the postponement of the summit. Nepal underscores creating a regional environment for the summit. Nepal will initiate necessary consultations on successfully holding the 19th summit with the participation of all member states,” said the statement.