SAARC delegation cancels visit to New Delhi due to Indian hostility


LAHORE: SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Pakistan chapter cancelled its three-day visit to India at the eleventh hour to participate in the SAARC Development Fund (SDF) Partnership Conclave 2018 due to India’s hostility towards Pakistan and its role in sabotaging the 19th SAARC Summit.

Talking to media here on Saturday, SAARC CCI Senior Vice President (SVP) Iftikhar Ali Malik said that India is deliberately maligning the association for its own vested interests and targeting Pakistan to disrupt trade and peace process in the region.

He said that it was always a fabricated propaganda that India remained steadfast in its commitment for regional cooperation since Indian premier Narendra Modi backed out of his promise that India would participate in SAARC conclave held in Islamabad. He added that Pakistan aimed to convince the SAARC member states that India wanted to divide the region by targeting the regional inter-governmental organisation.

He said the summit, in 2016, was to be held in Pakistan but India boycotted following the Uri attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers in held Kashmir. He further said that India again boycotted 19th SAARC Summit 2017 which was cancelled subsequently due to stubborn attitude of the Indian government.

Iftikhar Malik made it clear that India was impeding the process of association, while Islamabad always remained committed to the regional body. “SAARC promotes the development of economic and regional integration. If the members help each other economically, poverty and illiteracy can be reduced,” he added.