In a press release issued on Wednesday night, Nepal's ministry of foreign affairs said, “The government of Nepal has received communications from the SAARC Secretariat transmitting the diplomatic notes from four SAARC member states namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India in which they have conveyed their inability to participate in the 19th SAARC summit scheduled for November 9 and 10, 2016 in Islamabad stating that current regional environment is not conducive to the successful holding of the Summit.
We have taken this development seriously, the ministry added.
In the release, the Nepal government made an urge saying, “As the current chair of SAARC, the government of Nepal strongly urges that a conducive environment be created for the 19th SAARC Summit soon by ensuring the participation of all member states in line with the spirit of the SAARC Charter.”
On Tuesday, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi decided to not to attend the summit. Later Bhutan and Afghanistan also decided not to attend it.
Later on Wednesday, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said the decision to boycott Islamabad Saarc Summit is purely Bangladesh’s own decision.
“It has no relation with other countries’ decisions. It’s our own decision,” he told reporters at his office at the Foreign Ministry.
Without taking any name, Shahriar said a particular country’s repeated attempts to interfere in Bangladesh’s internal affairs has created an environment which is not conducive to successful holding of Saarc Summit.
“We have conveyed it to current Saarc chairman [Nepal and Saarc Secretariat] on Tuesday that Bangladesh is not attending the Summit,” he said.
The relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan have deteriorated sharply in recent years after Pakistan’s repeated interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs following the trial and execution of war criminals.