Pakistan offers to host SAARC Summit, invites India
Islamabad : Pakistan has once again offered to host the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad and reissued its invitation to India to be a part of the Summit.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said if India does not want to come physically, they can join virtually.
"I reiterate the invitation to the 19th SAARC summit. If India is not ready to come to Islamabad, it can join virtually but it should not stop others from attending the summit,” he said.
He also blamed India for making the SAARC forum dysfunctional. "Pakistan considers SAARC an important forum for regional cooperation and trade."
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a regional grouping comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Its last biennial summit was in Kathmandu in 2014.
Earlier, India had denied being the part of the Summit hosted in Pakistan giving 'prevailing circumstances' as the situation.
The summit had to be called off in 2016 after Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan too declined to participate in the Islamabad meeting.