Prime News, International (Islamabad), Dec 25:- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday expressed hope that his country would host the much-delayed SAARC Summit when the “artificial obstacle” created in its way is removed.
Khan made the remarks during his meeting with the Secretary-General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, who paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister here, according to the Foreign Office.
The Prime Minister “expressed hope to host the SAARC Summit in Pakistan when artificial obstacle created in its way would be removed,” the Foreign Office quoted him as saying.
The SAARC – a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – has not been very effective since 2016 as its biennial summits have not taken place since the last one in Kathmandu in 2014.
The 2016 SAARC Summit was originally planned to be held in Islamabad on November 15-19, 2016. But after a terror attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18 that year, India expressed its inability to participate in the summit due to “prevailing circumstances”.
The summit was called off after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan also declined to participate in the Islamabad meet.
During his meeting with Weerakoon, Khan reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the mutually beneficial goals and objectives embodied in the SAARC Charter.
He also underlined that SAARC can provide a conducive and beneficial atmosphere to build economic synergies which can transform the quality of life of the people of South Asia. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).