Indian diplomat walks out of SAARC meeting in Islamabad

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An Indian diplomat walked out of a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Islamabad on Sunday due to the presence of Azad Kashmir Minister Chaudhary Muhammad Saeed, Times Now News reported.

An Indian news agency quoted a source as saying that Shubham Singh, an official of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan, walked out of SAARC Chambers of Commerce and Industry meeting after he learned that Azad Kashmir Minister Chaudhary Muhammad Saeed was also attending.

The meeting was organised on the occasion of SAARC Charter Day.

A SAARC summit has not been held after India, followed by Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Bhutan, pulled out of the 19th summit in November 2016.

“Pakistan deplores India’s decision to impede the SAARC process by not attending the 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad on November 9 and 10,” the Foreign Office had said in a statement following the countries’ withdrawal.“India’s decision to abstain from the Summit on the basis of unfounded assumptions on the Uri incident is a futile effort to divert the attention of the world from the atrocities perpetrated by India in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir,” the statement had added.

Saarc, which comprises Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, has often been held hostage by animosity between Islamabad and New Delhi.

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