ISLAMABAD: Prime Mini­s­ter Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday reiterated Pakis­tan’s desire for revitalisation of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) and signalled its readiness to contribute to the revival of the seemingly dead eight-member regional bloc.

In a tweet he posted to mark the Saarc Charter Day, PM Sharif reminded that the people of South Asia had suffered because of “missed opportunities” for regional development, connectivity and cooperation.

Pakistan is “ready to play its part for revival of Saarc”, he said.

Saarc has been in a state of limbo for the past six years as India has been blocking the hosting of its summit by Pakistan.

Pakistan was to host the 19th summit in November 2016, but India, supported by its regional allies Bangla­desh, Bhutan and Afgha­nistan, forced its postponement.

The last summit was held in Nepal in 2014.

Meanwhile, Foreign Off­ice spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch at the weekly media briefing reminded about “undeniable proof” of Indian involvement in terrorism in Pakistan and called on the international community to take notice of it.

She made the comment in the context of the first-ever India-Central Asia National Security Advisors’ meeting in New Delhi, which focused on counterterrorism cooperation.

India’s attempts to portray itself as a torch bearer of counterterrorism efforts are ironic. Its involvement in inciting terrorism inside Pakistan is widely established and documented, she pointed out.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2022

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