People's Review Weekly

No SAARC sideline meeting in New York this year

- By Our Reporter

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is now in New York to address the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) being held at the UN Headquarte­rs.

After landing in New York on September 16, the PM is busy addressing one meeting after another and meeting leaders. On Monday, he addressed the SDG Summit and on Sunday, he met with Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres. However, unlike in the past, there will be no sideline meeting of the SAARC in New York this time. Prime Minister

Dahal is now the chair of the regional body, but he has not called the sideline meeting of SAARC leaders. He may meet Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, individual­ly, there will not be any collective meeting of the SAARC leaders.

This shows that SAARC has reached its deathbed, thanks to India-Pakistan tension. As India does not want to attend the SAARC summit in Pakistan, the 19th SAARC Summit, which was to be hosted by Pakistan in 2016, is still uncertain.

As India does not want to cooperate with Pakistan, the future of SAARC has become bleak. Instead,

India has been promoting BIMSTEC, omitting Pakistan.

Like the SAARC, BIMSTEC is a sevenmembe­r regional body initially establishe­d by four countries— Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Later, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar were added to this.

Now it has been nine years since the SAARC leaders met in Kathmandu in 2014 during its 18th Summit. Since then, the SAARC activities have become almost zero, and no effort has been made to revive them because of India's prejudice against it only because Pakistan is its member.

The SAARC secretaria­t in Kathmandu is still in operation and the SAARC level sports activities are going on. But other activities have stopped, and the practice of holding sideline meetings in the UNGA is not taking place this time.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nepal