ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday declined to take part in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) virtual conference of trade authorities, stating such conferences must have been led by the group’s secretariat rather of India.
The meeting of trade authorities from eight-member SAARC was assembled to talk about the effect of COVID-19 in the area and how the online forum might create a typical technique.
A declaration provided by the Foreign Office (FO) on Wednesday offered a comprehensive description regarding why it pulled out of the conference.
“Being a founding member, Pakistan believed that SAARC provides an important platform for regional cooperation,” the declaration checked out.
“The role of the secretariat assumes further salience in emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and its wider social and economic fallout,” it stated.
The declaration stated as, when it comes to other local and international organisations, the SAARC secretariat likewise offers the requisite assembling platform, institutional framework and assistance structure for important coordination and follow- up.
“Activities such as today’s trade officials’ video conference could only be effective if spearheaded by the SAARC secretariat. Since the secretariat was not part of today’s video conference, Pakistan chose not to participate,” Foreign Office representative Aisha Farooqui discussed.
She stated for the SAARC procedure to progress, its secretariat needs to be made it possible for to play its due role in any event or activity being arranged under the SAARC auspices.
“At a time when the region is facing unprecedented challenges, all the available institutional frameworks must be optimally utilised,” she added.