By Binoo Joshi
India’s decision to pull out of the regional grouping, South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation ( SAARC) has had a spiraling effect with four more nations announcing the withdrawal forcing Pakistan to “ postpone” the 19th summit which was scheduled to be held in Islamabad , Pakistan in November .
Pakistan not hosting the summit is a bad news for the SAARC. But, for that Pakistan needs to do a little bit of self-introspection . Why countries, not only in the SAARC, but also the rest of the world are not siding with it . It is not that Pakistan has become a pariah state all of sudden, but its investment in the growing universities of jihad , and export of jihadis from there to other parts of the world, particularly India and Afghanistan, to achieve its political and diplomatic objectives.
Had Pakistan not sponsored the September 18th attack at an army base in Uri in Kashmir in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed, the SAARC summit would have stayed its course. As the Indian envoy in Pakistan had declared, “ Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen to visit Pakistan for the SAARC summit.” But Pakistan’s reliance on terrorists to achieve its diplomatic targets in the misplaced campaign of highlighting “ Kashmir issue” internationally and introducing the “ fresh spate of Indian atrocities on Kashmiris fighting for their right to self determination ,” undid it .
Instead of discussing terrorism as a major menace in the region with India, its insistence to shield terrorists from the eyes of the world , has cist it heavily. As the roadmap was drawn in Ufa, Russia in July last year, the discussions on terrorism were to be followed by talks on Kashmir . But by bringing in factors like “ consultations with separatists”, Pakistan used that as an excuse to call off the talks.
Now, when the SAARC summit has been postponed, Pakistan would do it better to itself if it tries to get back to the world where terrorism is seen as major threat to the global peace . Its repeated threats of using the nuclear weapons in the region have made the world wary about it and its intentions .
SAARC might not have the ideal regional grouping , but the way it has collapsed this time as far as hosting it Islamabad is concerned, is full of symbolism of Pakistan’s isolation .
There still is a way out for it, Pakistan should dismantle infrastructure of terrorism , and all its diplomatic isolation would start going into retreat. It is not a long shot, but the current threats from Pakistan’s leadership don’t indicate that Pakistan is on course-correction . Uri attack has cost it heavily in the diplomatic world, but it is still seized by frozen mindset where it thinks that jihadis can draw salvation for it. Bad and sad.